Forest closures no coincidence, liberals and industry cut a deal: Union

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The regional vice-president of Ontario's
largest forestry union believes the newly-elected Liberal government can thank
forest industry leaders for at least some of their seats.
    "It doesn't take rocket science to figure this one out," says Cec
Makowski. Clearly, the Liberals got the forest companies to hold off on
announcing plant closures and shutdowns until they got elected.
    "It's no coincidence the four recent announcements of layoffs by
Fibretech, Tembec and Columbia Forest Products came after the election
campaign and not before or during. If they had been, the election results
would have been very different, says Makowski, noting that the electoral races
in the communities where these closures are happening were extremely close,
with one MP winning by under 40 votes.
    "Ontario voters were duped by Liberals MPs in Northern Ontario who
promised an end to the forest crisis, he adds. They were mislead by the
Liberal party into thinking there was a light at the end of the tunnel after
months of cuts in the forest sector."
    More than 200 CEP members and their families have been affected by the
shutdown of Fibretech in Atikokan, and a paper machine at Tembec in
Kapuskasing. A sawmill closure in Cochrane was also announced recently (United
Steelworkers), and today, word comes that layoffs are scheduled at the
Columbia Forest Products plant in Rutherglen (United Steelworkers).
    Makowski says CEP will stand behind its members and do whatever it can
including continuing to push for implementation of the recommendations in The
Solutions Agenda for the Northern Ontario Forest Sector, an independent report
commissioned by CEP and the United Steelworkers.

For further information:

For further information: Cec Makowski, (905) 371-6297

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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