Union warnings, calls for loan guarantees ignored as another forestry giant seeks bankruptcy protection



    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Another major pulp and paper producer has
announced it is facing bankruptcy protection one day after the federal
government claimed to be coming to the rescue of Canada's ailing forest
industry.
    "The responsibility for Fraser Paper's bankruptcy protection application
lies squarely at the feet of the Harper government," says the president of
Canada's largest forestry union. "We have been pleading with the government
for months to provide loan guarantees to viable mills like Fraser to get them
through this recession, and to protect our members' jobs and pensions," says
Dave Coles.
    "Our advice has been consistently ignored, and for this we will be
holding MPs and Ministers accountable at the ballot box. Instead of meaningful
action, we get empty promises of financial aid, such as yesterday's $1-billion
Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. Coles notes that "major pulp and
paper producers such as Catalyst Paper Richard Garneau, and Fraser Paper's CEO
Peter Gordon also denounced the government's as 'too little, too late.'"
    "Given the desperate situation for so many forestry workers, their
families and communities, it is absolutely no consolation that our
forewarnings for the industry are coming true," says CEP's Secretary-Treasurer
Gaétan Ménard.
    "The lack of any action on the part of the Harper government to protect
one of our country's most important sectors is economically irresponsible and
heartless," says Ménard.
    There are 300 forestry dependent towns in Canada and 55,000 forestry jobs
have been lost in the past two years.
    The 150,000-member CEP represents more than 60,000 forestry workers.
There are 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the forest sector.




For further information:

For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628; Gaétan Ménard,
(613) 230-5800, ext. 265, (819) 775-6980 (cell)

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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