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Jul 2, 2019

About 3,000 workers and contractors strike at Western Forest Products in B.C.


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VANCOUVER - About 3,000 forestry workers are on strike in coastal British Columbia after negotiations between Western Forest Products Inc. and the United Steelworkers failed to produce a new contract.

Western Forest Products say about 1,500 of the company's hourly employees and 1,500 employees working for its timberland contractors and operators walked off the job Monday.

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 says members, who voted 98.8 per cent in favour of striking, have started the job action because the company has not seriously addressed union proposals and continues to keep "massive concessions" on the bargaining table.

Western Forest Products CEO Don Demens says it is "extremely disappointing" that the union has take strike action after cancelling bargaining sessions and refusing mediation.

Demens says in a release that it's clear the union is intent on inflicting damage to the coastal forest industry as it faces significant market challenges.

The union says it believes an agreement can be reached quickly once talks resume.