Western Forest Products, union reach tentative collective agreement
By Maria Church
B.C. coastal lumber producer Western Forest Products and the union representing more than 3,000 of its striking forestry workers have agreed to the terms of a tentative collective agreement.
This comes just days after the B.C. government stepped in to appoint special mediators and set deadlines for the parties to reach a deal to end the eight-month strike.
The tentative agreement is subject to a ratification vote by the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (USW) membership. The USW bargaining committee is recommending that its members accept the agreement.
“Our union is extremely proud of our members’ solidarity in this extended struggle to achieve a a fair collective agreement with Western Forest Products and their associated contractors,” USW president Brian Butler said. “I am pleased to report that the tentative agreement does not contain any concessions, which was a key mandate from our members.”
In a news release, Don Demens, president and CEO of Western Forest Products, called the agreement “fair and equitable,” and said it balances the needs of employees and the business
“This has been a particularly challenging time and I’m pleased that we were able to find common ground through the efforts of all involved,” Demens said.