Steelworkers Determined to See Burns Lake Mill Rebuilt

BURNABY, BC, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The union representing workers at the Babine Forest Products Sawmill in Burns Lake, B.C., is applauding Hampton Affiliates intention to rebuild the mill and is reiterating its call for the province to take steps to ensure that it happens.

Hampton Affiliates has announced that it has a framework in place to rebuild the mill if a timber supply can be secured.

The United Steelworkers (USW) says the decision is good news for workers, First Nations and the small community of Burns Lake, and that the Provincial Government must take the lead to ensure that the rebuild is completed.

"In a place like Burns Lake, the mill is more than just an employer, it's the heart of the community.  By providing good-paying forestry jobs, it supports families, local businesses and the entire community.  Burns Lake's future without this sawmill will be very bleak," says Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director.

The USW believes that there are no impediments to the rebuild with respect to the timber supply.

"On the day of the tragic explosion, the mill had an adequate timber supply.  There is no reason why government cannot work with Hampton to ensure that the mill is rebuilt and continues to operate," says Bob Matters, Chair of the USW Wood Council.

In August of this year USW representatives presented before the Legislative Assembly's Committee on Timber Supply, where the union urged government to take measures to secure a timber supply for a rebuilt Burns Lake sawmill.

The union is committed to working with Hampton Affiliates and the Provincial Government to see the mill rebuilt.

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Stephen Hunt, Director

Bob Matters, Wood Council Chair

Brad West, USW Communications


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