Tentative agreement reached between WFP and United Steelworkers

Tentative agreement reached between WFP and United Steelworkers
WatchSmiles rose from picket lines outside Western Forest Products mills Monday. As Skye Ryan reports, after an eight month long strike that's impacted thousands of families, mediators have come up with a tentative agreement.

A tentative agreement has been reached between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, after an over seven-month strike.

The agreement is subject to a ratification vote by USW membership. The USW bargaining committee will be recommending that its members accept the agreement.

The details will not be released until members have been able to vote.

“Our union is extremely proud of our Members’ solidarity in this extended struggle to achieve a fair Collective Agreement with Western Forest Products and their associated Contractors,” said Brian Butler, President of USW Local 1-1937 in a statement.

Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western, says the agreement that was reached is fair for both sides.

“With the assistance of special mediators, Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers, we have reached a fair and equitable agreement that balances the needs of our employees and our business,” said Demens in a statement.

“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.”

If the deal is ratified, it would end the over a half-a-year long strike that has been severely impacting about 3,000 coastal forest workers employed in Western Forest Products sawmills and timberlands operations in the province.

The union says the strike is over the potential loss of pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability benefits.

In December, Western Forest Products announced that a round of talks the union had collapsed and negotiations had reached an impasse.

Mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers originally withdrew from strike talks, but were later appointed by the province as special mediators — giving them additional powers.

The strike began in July.


Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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