Union says mediation effort with Western Forest Products has stalled

Union says mediation effort with Western Forest Products has stalled
File photo
Western Forest Product employees have been on strike since July 1, 2019.

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 says a mediation effort with Western Forest Product has stalled.

The union says it tables a revised set of proposals for Western Forest Products (WFP), including a revised wage proposal, but Western Forest Products positions remained relatively unchanged during a mediation meeting

“Massive concessions remained on the table and they continued to refuse to addressing the unions’ issues in any significant way,” the union wrote in a statement.

“WFP is not bargaining. They are using an American Style, bargaining by litigation strategy, which messages that they are interested in bargaining to the media, but are actually bent on inflicting damage to the Union and its members. It is a strategy that will fail,” Brian Butler, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 said in a statement.

The union said it knows mediation is needed and they want to reach an agreement, “but WFP’s complete lack of movement, numerous concessions, outstanding and ongoing WFP LRB applications and applications and court litigation have made mediation pointless at this time.”

There are currently 2,500 employees on strike. The strike started on Canada day and affects Western’s six Island manufacturing plants and timberland operations.

According to the union, the company wants concession on security, pension plans and a two-tiered wage structure.

WFP has sent notice to employees saying it would no longer fund premiums to ensure the continuation of benefits for striking workers.


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