Forest union moves to stop mill closures

    MONTREAL, Dec. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest pulp and paper union is
proposing to head to the bargaining table a year earlier than scheduled in
response to the crisis in the forest sector.
    Delegates representing paperworkers from AbitibiBowater adopted the
measure as part of an action plan developed at their meeting in Montreal this
week. The proposal will be put to a conference of all pulp and paper Local
unions in Eastern Canada early next year.
    "We're taking the bull by the horns," says CEP President Dave Coles. "As
a union there are ways we can help cut costs that don't involve concessions
and we want to put them forward." Coles stresses that "re-opening negotiated
contracts to cut wages and benefits is definitely not on.
    "We want to sit down face-to-face with AbitibiBowater to explore their
closure announcements in detail, including all possible alternative plans for
these mills and their assets, early retirements and a transition plan for the
affected workers."
    The union is also calling on AbitibiBowater and all major companies to
join the union in convening a national forest industry summit to agree on
urgent matters to support the Canadian forest industry. Details of the CEP
action plan can be found at

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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