United Steelworkers Welcomes ‘Hot Edict’ of Western Forest Products

BURNABY – The United Steelworkers (USW) is welcoming the announcement of a “hot edict” of Western Forest Products by the BC Federation of Labour.

Over 2,600 Steelworkers employed by Western Forest Products (WFP) on Vancouver Island are on strike to save their pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability from being cut by the company.

According to WFP’s 2017 and 2018 financial reports, the company made over $1 billion in sales and made a net profit of $74.4 million and $69.2 million respectively. In addition, the salaries of the CEO and Vice-President have steadily increased from $1.5 million in 2015 to $2 million in 2017 for the CEO, and from $500,000 in 2015 to $1.2 million in 2017 for the Vice-President. 

Despite this reality, WFP has decided to attack its own employees with attempts to introduce a two-tier pay system for new employees, elimination of the current pension plan and demands to roll back a number of other clauses of the collective agreement that were bargained and agreed to over decades.

The United Steelworkers is seeking to achieve a new agreement that ensures workers are treated with respect, share in the success of WFP and that benefits that have been successfully achieved in previous bargaining are protected.

The announcement of a “hot edict” of Western Forest Products is a significant escalation in this employer-initiated dispute. It means that all of the affiliated unions of the BC Federation of Labour will no longer handle any of WFP’s wood products. Most significantly, the refusal of maritime union workers from touching WFP’s raw log supply and finished products means that millions of the company’s products will lay dormant.

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 will continue to fight for a fair collective agreement that respects the people who do the work that allows WFP to exist as a profitable company.


For further information:

Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director, 604-816-2554

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