Forest Products Industry Welcomes Back to Work Legislation to End CN Rail Worker Strike



    OTTAWA, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) today welcomed the government's action to move forward on back to work
legislation to bring to an end the ongoing strike by CN's freight conductors
and switching yard employees. The industry encouraged all parliamentarians to
support this legislation to prevent further disruption to the economy.
    "Canada's forest products industry has yet to recover from the impact of
last February's strike, and this latest walkout has resulted in significant
service disruptions, lost contracts and penalties for our members," said Avrim
Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "The forest products industry is one of
Canada's single largest users of freight rail services, annually shipping by
rail millions of tonnes of finished product. As most of the industry's mills
are located in remote areas where rail service is the only viable
transportation mode, other forms of ground transportation are either too
costly or unavailable to provide our companies with relief, making our sector
particularly vulnerable to even the shortest disruptions in service."
    "A fully-functioning competitive rail transportation system is a critical
element of the Canadian manufacturing sector's competitiveness in terms of
cost, service and reliability," continued Lazar. "Rail transportation is
especially important for an export-dependent economy such as Canada's where
delivering products to markets swiftly and economically is a key to the
country's overall competitiveness. A prolonged dispute would have disastrous
economic consequences for Canada's economy and its reputation as a reliable
supplier, and we welcome the government's action."

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry is an $80 billion dollar a year industry that represents 3% of
Canada's GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in
over 320 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect
jobs across the country.




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Des Chênes, Director, Communications,
Forest Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441 ext: 323,
ideschenes@fpac.ca


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