Finance minister to meet with forest union

    OTTAWA, May 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Yesterday's occupation of seven federal
Conservative offices by representatives of Canada's largest forest workers
union has resulted in a high-level meeting and a conference on the future of
the forest industry.
    Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has agreed to meet with representatives of
the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union in Ottawa on June 2nd - the
day thousands of forestry workers will join in a march to Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's office.
    Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Josée Verner also agreed to hold a
regional forum on the future of the forest industry
    "This a good first step toward waking up Stephen Harper's government,"
says CEP President Dave Coles, who says his union "will continue to push for
action to protect forest jobs, pensions and communities, as well as the future
of Canada's forest industry."
    Coles praised the courage and determination of the CEP members who took
matters into their own hands yesterday garnering widespread media attention
and immediate reaction from politicians.
    Other MPs -- Mike Allen (Tobique-Mactaquac) and John Duncan (Vancouver
Island North) - provided letters outlining their position which can be viewed
    Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon refused to meet with or
acknowledge the concerns of the forestry workers. Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre
Blackburn conceded to a meeting, but stressed that he would not consider any
of their demands. Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River) refused to speak or
meet with the workers.

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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