TLA says WFP putting profits before community interest
By Truck Loggers Association
April 5, 2016 –The Truck Loggers Association will hold its regular Board of Directors meeting in Port Alberni on April 7 in support of its 22 members operating in the Alberni Valley and the community those companies support. This show of support recognizes TLA members and the Alberni Valley community who have been negatively impacted by the rate dispute between Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products (WFP).
Last month, WFP sent home mill workers due to a log shortage which was caused by the company’s disregard for coastal logging contractors and the ongoing rate dispute.
Now, the United Steelworkers are moving towards legal proceedings against WFP. The union has been trying to resolve its issues with WFP, but the company has asked for concessions to their current collective agreement, rather than putting their employees to work harvesting timber.
“Despite quarterly earnings double what they were a year ago, WFP continues to squeeze independent, local companies,” says TLA Executive Director, David Elstone. “And now in addition to laying off its mill workers, it is not putting its logging employees to work while asking for concessions in an effort to further bolster its bottom line rather than sharing some of its profit windfall.”
“This rate dispute, the layoffs at the Port Alberni mill, the loss of work by the logging contractor and now a request by WFP for contract concessions from the union are all evidence that WFP is losing its social licence to operate on crown land,” said Elstone.
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 455 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in B.C.