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MP Blaney visits picket lines as Western Forest Products strike enters second month

More than 2,600 members of United Steelworkers on strike
A strike placard is shown affixed to the Western Forest Products sign at Menzies Bay, north of Campbell River, on Aug. 1, 2019. More than 2,600 United Steelworkers members are entering their second month on strike. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

New Democrat MP Rachel Blaney says she met with Western Forest Products workers Aug. 1 as they entered their second month on strike.

The North Island-Powell River representative said she attended United Steelworkers (USW) picket lines at Menzies Bay and Big Tree, between Campbell River and Sayward.

“We heard some stories from people in that area… talking about how hard it is, the concerns they have around the finances for their families,” she said. “They’re willing to fight this fight because they believe in what they’re doing.”

READ MORE: Western Forest Products strike on Vancouver Island set to enter third week

READ MORE: Strike action commences at WFP mills

Western and the USW entered negotiations in April to replace a five-year collective agreement that expired in mid-June.

The union, which issued a strike notice on June 28, says the company is demanding concessions from workers on a number of issues, including pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability, amid high corporate profits and soaring executive compensation.

More than 2,600 USW members on Vancouver Island and Powell River are on strike, including loggers and manufacturing workers, according to the union. Western didn’t immediately respond to questions last week.


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