126 people have been out of work all year because of a rate dispute between Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products.
“Everyone’s getting more and more frustrated”
That was the comment of one worker who has been off the job since December.
He and 125 others are laid off, caught in the middle of rate dispute between their employer Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products.
CHEK News first reported on the dispute in May as the United Steel Workers union, which represents the workers, showed us timber that continues to sit on the forest floor south of Port Alberni because of the dispute.
Some of it has been there for up to two years in the Franklin River area.
“I turn 65 in December. I figured I would have been maybe work a year and retire, well that ain’t happening” said Ed Fines.
There are about 70-thousand cubic metres of wood waiting to be taken to a log sort, the equivalent of 2000 highway logging trucks.
“Well the frustration is starting to build because over the last couple of months it seems like every week at the beginning of the week there’s lots of positivity that they’re going to be going back to work and then by the end of the week it gets blown out of the water” said Glen Cheetham of the United Steelworkers local 185 in Port Alberni.
Many of the workers lose their health benefits today after six months of layoff coverage.
A fundraiser was held outside the Blue Marlin Inn Friday evening.