Forestry strike in B.C. is over but workers waiting to return to their jobs

WatchThe forestry strike lasted 7.5 months but even though workers have signed a new contract they still don't know when they are going back to work.

The phone was ringing non-stop when CHEK News visited the United Steelworkers Union office in Campbell River Wednesday.

Forestry workers were calling to find out if anyone knows when they’ll be getting back to work.

“Yes, that’s right. They’re wondering if we’ve received a call if we know anything about a return to work date but nothing yet,” said Chris Brown, who is a logging truck driver for Western Forest Products and served as a picket captain during the strike.

A spokesperson from Western Forest Products wrote in a statement Wednesday that “start-up dates will vary by region based on a number of considerations including employee and contractor availability, market demand, log supply and for harvesting, weather conditions. We are aiming to share specifics for each location with our employees first and are in the process of doing so this week.”

Workers have been told by the union that their last strike paycheque will be this Friday. They can apply for Employment Insurance until they go back to work but many might not qualify due to a lack of hours worked.

Either way, they are eager to get back on the job.

“The membership is very happy that things have settled now and we’re very anxious to return to work,” added Brown.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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