BURNABY, BC, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - Members of the United Steelworkers (USW)
from five coastal local unions have begun distributing leaflets to consumers
at four outlets of The Home Depot in Langley, Abbotsford, Nanaimo and
Courtenay as the initial phase of a continent-wide consumer awareness campaign
to convince consumers not to purchase wood products labeled by Western Forest
Products, Interfor and Weyerhaeuser (Cedar One).
USW members have been on strike for three weeks against Western, Interfor
and other employers over working conditions, including those affecting health
and safety. Since 2004, many employers, backed by a BC-government-legislated
collective agreement, have imposed work days of 12-16 hours, when hours on the
job and travel time are factored together.
Since January, 2005, more than 65 BC forest workers have been killed.
Last year a coroner's jury confirmed that unsafe shifts and contracting out
have increased the likelihood of injuries and fatalities.
"We would like consumers to avoid purchasing these labeled products and
we urge Home Depot, and all other retailers and distributors, to avoid
carrying wood products produced by struck employers," said USW Western Canada
Director Steve Hunt.
The leaflet says that by not purchasing these labeled products, consumers
support a safer, better forest industry in BC, and one that provides quality
Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer,
with well over 2,100 stores around the world. Last year it had over US
$90-billion in sales.
The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 280,000
men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy. It is North
America's largest industrial union with with more than 850,000 active members.
For further information:
For further information: Contact: Steve Hunt, (604) 816-2554