Tuesday, January 20, 2009

OUT FRONT, from USW Wood Council

"Out Front This Week" - Steelworkers Wood Council

WESTERN FOREST CONTINUES LAYOFFS

Last week, Western Forest Products announced a further 720 layoffs on the coast of British Columbia. Currently, it is estimated that over 5,000 coastal forest workers are currently out of work and over 8,500 members of the United Steelworkers province-wide are on temporary or indefinite layoff.

The WFP layoff includes a decision by the company not to re-open its Duke Point and Nanaimo sawmills and Mid-Island Reman, as well as further curtailing its woodlands operations. Prior to the New Year, the company had closed all of its 10 manufacturing plants, putting 1,230 workers out of work until early January. Western now says it will run its Cowichan Bay, Saltaire, Chemainus, Somass and Alberni Pacific manufacturing operations, but not Duke Point, Nanaimo and Mid-Island, and that logging operations in Port Alberni and the Queen Charlotte Islands which had been operating will be idled.

CLC CAMPAIGN TARGETS BUDGET ACTION ON THE ECONOMIC CRISIS

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has launched a campaign calling for the federal government to take bold and direct action aimed at creating jobs and helping the unemployed.

"The upcoming federal budget must focus on creating full-time jobs and fixing our broken Employment Insurance program. It can't just focus on the needs of the banks and corporations that got us into this mess," said Ken Georgetti, president of the CLC.

Georgetti says "it's just wrong" that when people need it most, the Employment Insurance program is not ready to help. Benefits are smaller than they used to be and do not last as long. In recent years, 6 in 10 unemployed men and 7 in 10 unemployed women failed to qualify for any benefits, even though they paid EI premiums.

"We have a plan to make EI work better at helping people when they lose their jobs. It's what workers need right now. Fixing this important program must be part of the government's plan to help people get through what is now an economic recession," says Georgetti.

To find out more about the CLC campaign, please visit http://canadianlabour.ca/.

FORESTRY WOES A FOCUS FOR NDP IN UPCOMING BC ELECTION

Carole James and the BC NDP continue to show the Party’s commitment to the province’s number one industry. The leader of the Official Opposition continues to campaign on her 5-point forestry plan. Visit http://www.carolejames.ca/node/18 to see the NDP leader talk about her forestry focus.

Steelworkers Wood Council / Conseil des M├ętallos sur le bois300 - 3920 Norland AvenueBurnaby, British Columbia V5G 4K7Phone: 604-683-1117 Fax: 604-688-6416Email: iwacouncil@usw.cawww.usw.ca / www.metallos.ca

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