The B.C. Federation of Labour has announced a “hot edict” on Western Forest Products in support of its strikers. (File photo)

Federation of Labour supports striking forestry workers

Calls for a “hot edict” on Western Forest Products

The BC Federation of Labour has announced a “hot edict” on Western Forest Products in a show of solidarity with striking forest workers.

The move, welcomed by the United Steelworkers which represents many WFP workers in mills on the Island, means that members of the BCFED’s affiliated unions have been asked to no longer handle any WFP coastal lumber, log and wood products.

Approximately 1,500 of the company’s hourly employees, including hundreds at WFP mills in Cowichan Bay and Chemainus, and 1,500 employees working for the company’s timberlands operators and contractors in B.C. commenced a strike on Canada Day.

RELATED STORY: STRIKE ACTION COMMENCES AT WFP MILLS

The strike affects all of the company’s United Steelworkers certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in B.C.

“The announcement of a ‘hot edict’ is a significant but necessary escalation in what is frankly an employer-initiated dispute,” said Laird Cronk, president of the BCFED.

“Through the solidarity of affiliated unions, the company’s products could lay dormant.”

Babita Khunkhun, a spokeswoman for Western Forest Products, said the company respects the right of the union to exercise the hot-edict option.

She said WFP has a mitigation plan in place to deal with such situations during the strike, but couldn’t say exactly what the company will do about the hot edict.

“Right now our main focus is on returning to the bargaining table,” she said.

“There are currently no talks taking place, but we’re hopeful that the union will soon come back to the table. We’re ready to resume discussions at any time.”

The United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 have said its members, who voted 98.8 per cent in favour of striking, started the job action because the company has not seriously addressed union proposals and continues to keep “massive concessions” on the bargaining table as both sides try to negotiate a new collective agreement.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN BAY SAWMILL TO SHUTTER OPERATIONS FOR TWO WEEKS

The company has said the strike is taking place at a “very challenging time” for the industry that is facing a market downturn due to low lumber prices and high costs because of the softwood lumber duties.

Steven Hunt, a USW spokesman, said the union is seeking to achieve a new agreement that ensures workers are treated with respect, share in the success of WFP and that benefits that have been successfully achieved in previous bargaining are protected.

“The company is attempting these draconian roll-backs to worker benefits and rights despite continued profitability,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

North Island Eagles select head coaches for upcoming season

“We appreciate the commitment each of you make to the club and to your teams”

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Hardy Bay Senior Citizens’ new greenhouse

“if it wasn’t for the volunteers this project wouldn’t have happened”

Port Hardy Pride Day will arrive in September

Port Hardy will be celebrating Pride Day on Sept. 14 at Carrot Park.

Woss man attacked by black bear on remote logging road

“we are just monitoring the situation now”

Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see previous cuts to public libraries reversed

The Ministry of Education has, over 10 years, reduced provincial library funding by $6 million.

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read