Forest union wants urgent meeting with new Minister of Natural Resources

OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest forest and energy workers' union has requested an urgent meeting with the newly appointed Minister of Natural Resources. In a letter to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada points out the critical situation facing Canada's manufacturing sector and urgent need for dialogue.

"In this period of economic uncertainty and in the midst of a prolonged manufacturing and forestry crisis, the role of the Minister of Natural Resources is a critical one," Mr. Coles wrote. "On behalf of more than 125,000 workers in the energy and forestry sectors I look forward to working with you in developing an agenda that will address the very urgent issues faced by these industries.

"Forestry is one of our most important industries, providing jobs, directly and indirectly, for 700,000 workers. It is facing the worst crisis in its history - unprecedented economic, trade-related and environmental challenges.

"More than 200 sawmills and paper mills have closed across the country since 2003, throwing more than 55,000 workers out of work. Communities already hit by the closures have been further devastated by the loss of more than a hundred thousand additional jobs that depended indirectly on the forest industry. The disappearance of all these well-paid jobs has hit small communities very hard."

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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