More Sawmill Curtailments, Possible Job Action in British Columbia

More Sawmill Curtailments, Possible Job Action in British Columbia

The United Steel Workers (USW) Bargaining Committee, representing the British Columbia USW Locals 1-405 (Cranbrook), 1-417 (Kamloops), 1-423 (Kelowna) and 1-2017 (Prince George), which includes 2,600 members in the south region and 2,000 members in the north region, booked out provincial mediator Dave Schaub late Friday night after talks broke down with the Interior Forest Labout Relations Association (IFLRA), USW leadership reported in a Nov. 16 bargaining bulletin to members.

The South region’s USW operations will be in official strike position Wednesday morning, November 21 at approximately 10 a.m., Pacific time.

According to a USW press release on Nov. 17, the union’s bargaining committee hired provincial mediator Dave Schaub late Friday night after talks broke down between the two parties.

The bargaining committee represents USW locals in Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook, and Prince George, including 2,600 members in the south region and 2,000 members in the north.

Forestry operations in the East and West Kootenay that may be affected by the action include the Interfor Castlegar Sawmill, the Canfor Elko Sawmill, the Canfor Radium Sawmill, Canfor Woodlands (Cranbrook Garage, Logging Trucks and Skookumchuck Chipper – but not the pulp mill), the Galloway Sawmill, Stella Jones Pole Plant in Galloway, and the Louisiana Pacific LVL/Plywood Plant in Golden.

The United Steel Workers (USW) Bargaining Committee,

Approximately 875 Kootenay workers may be affected.

The union will be in a legal strike position effective Wednesday, a union memo indicates there is no job action planned for this week — that the union executive plans on meeting this weekend to come up with a strategy and will begin putting the pressure on the employers effective next week.

As well, forestry company West Fraser plans to reduce operations, affecting 60 employees at its Fraser Lake, BC, sawmill and 75 employees at its Quesnel site, in early 2019, the company announced Wednesday morning.

In a press release on Nov. 13, the company said the changes involve curtailing about 300 million board feet of lumber production through the cutting of a third shift at both sawmills.

— West Fraser

The changes at Fraser Lake will make it the second mill in the region after Houston to face production curtailments.

Comments are closed.