Steelworkers union reneges on apology and retraction



    TimberWest to proceed with litigation

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - On Monday evening, October 1st, 2007,
TimberWest and the Steelworkers' reached an agreement whereby the union would
formally and publicly apologize for accusations made last week at a
Sustainable Forestry Initiative industry conference in the US, as well as
simultaneous news conferences in Vancouver and Salt Lake City, regarding the
forestry, environmental, safety and business practices of TimberWest.
    In fact, the company received and approved a retraction and apology in
the form of a media statement prepared by the Steelworkers, with a commitment
from the union to publicly issue the statement this morning, October 2nd (a
copy of the statement is below). In addition, the Steelworkers committed to
remove web-links connecting the union's website to defamatory videos and to
remove offensive information regarding TimberWest's forestry practices from
its various websites.
    Today, a Steelworkers' representative has confirmed that the Steelworkers
will not be publicly issuing the apology, reneging on the agreement reached
yesterday between TimberWest and the Steelworkers.
    TimberWest is disappointed with the union's decision to go back on its
word and to break the agreement reached in good faith between the two parties.
These actions leave TimberWest with no alternative but to proceed with
litigation.
    As TimberWest President and CEO Paul McElligott said last week: "Our
request for an apology and retraction has nothing to do with the current
labour dispute. We will not stand by idly when false and defamatory statements
are made and we will vigorously defend ourselves against these malicious
attacks."

    TimberWest Corporate Profile

    TimberWest Forest Corp. is uniquely positioned as the largest owner of
private forest lands in western Canada. The Company owns in fee simple
approximately 334,000 hectares or 825,000 acres of private timberland that,
over the previous five years, have provided an annual average harvest of 
2.594 million m3 of logs and have an approximate annual growth rate of 8.0 m3
per hectare per year on the productive land base. These timberlands are
located on Vancouver Island and the majority of the land base supports the
growth of Douglas fir, a premium tree species sought after for structural
purposes. TimberWest runs fully-contracted harvesting operations. With almost
80% of the Company's annual private land logging now being done in
second-growth stands, TimberWest leads the Coastal industry in the growing and
harvesting of second-growth timber.
    The Company's independent auditor, KPMG Performance Registrar Inc.,
periodically certifies that the forest management practices on the Company's
private timberland continue to meet all Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI(R)) requirements. SFI requirements specify that forest harvesting is
integrated with environmental and conservation goals for soil, wildlife, water
quality protection, conservation of biodiversity, protection of special sites
and aesthetics in a manner that ensures a sustainable harvest over the
long-term.
    TimberWest also owns renewable Crown harvest rights to 0.7 million m3 of
logs per year and operates a sawmill located near Campbell River, BC.
    In addition, approximately 38,000 hectares or 94,000 acres of the
Company's private forest lands have been identified as having greater value as
real estate properties and will progressively be made available for higher
uses over the next ten to fifteen years. The Company reviews its land base on
a periodic basis to update the size of its portfolio of higher use properties.
    Stapled Units of TimberWest Forest Corp. are traded on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol: TWF.UN
    Visit us at our web site: www.timberwest.com

    The following is a copy of the United Steelworkers' media statement as
delivered to TimberWest:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "UNITED STEELWORKERS

                                                                Wood Council
                                                                 Bob Matters
                                                                       Chair

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    October 2, 2007

                       STEELWORKERS CORRECT STATEMENTS
    

    BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA -

    In public statements made last week in press conferences in Vancouver and
Salt Lake City, and at the conference of the Sustainable Forest Initiative,
the United Steelworkers made many accusations against TimberWest including
that TimberWest has no commitment to the environment or worker safety and
intentionally violates sustainable forestry principles. The published
statements and the material distributed by the United Steelworkers incorrectly
described Timberwest's forestry, environmental, safety and business practices.
    The United Steelworkers retracts the accusations that it has made and
apologizes to TimberWest for its actions and for any harm that these
statements may have caused

    -30-

    FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Bob Matters (604)683-1117

    cope 343"

    %SEDAR: 00009326E




For further information:

For further information: Steve Lorimer, Manager, Public Affairs &
Government Relations, TimberWest Forest Corp., Telephone: (250) 729-3727,
Email: lorimers@timberwest.com

Organization Profile

TIMBERWEST FOREST CORP.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890