Union calls on province to "step up to the plate" in Resolute closure

HALIFAX, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Leaders of Canada's largest forestry union are calling on Government of Nova Scotia to step up to the plate, following today's announcement of the indefinite closure of the Resolute Forests Products mill in Brooklyn, N.S.

"We call on the government of Nova Scotia to immediately purchase the private forest lands owned by the company to ensure the citizens of Nova Scotia have access to forest-dependent jobs and their community for the long run," says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

"The closure of Bowater-Mersey-owned mill is the result of the lack of a national economic industrial strategy to deal with the devastating collapse of the forest industry," adds Coles.

"Our members are devastated," added CEP's Atlantic Regional Vice-President Chuck Shewfelt. "This is a disaster for the community and the province," he says, noting the closure will affect some 350 employees directly, and hundreds more indirectly from the spin-off effects.

Coles says CEP has pursued every political avenue, from one end of this country to the other, in an attempt to have the forest crisis addressed. "But political leaders, in particular the Conservative Government in Ottawa, have slammed the door in our face."

"Forestry is a renewable resource. It is the ultimate green industry, generating vast wealth from trees that grow back again after they've been cut.  This simple fact is one that many current political leaders have been unable to grasp."

CEP is Canada's largest forestry union, representing more than 60,000 forestry workers. There are 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the forest sector.

SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles (613) 299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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