Forest workers occupy federal MP Mike Allen's office

    GRAND FALLS, NB, May 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Lack of leadership in handling the
forestry crisis has led forest workers to take matters into their own hands.
    Today, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of
Canada, have occupied the office of Mike Allen, MP for the riding of
    "More than 50,000 forestry jobs have been lost over the last two years,
and despite CEP's efforts to get federal government ministers to address the
crisis, the Conservatives have sat on their hands," says Pat Roy, CEP's
Atlantic Region Administrative Vice-President.
    "We intend to stay in this office until Minister Flaherty agrees to meet
with us," says Roy. "We want to discuss our demands for alleviating the
suffering and anxiety of forest workers, our families and our communities."
    "We are here to register CEP's solutions to the forest crisis, seek
support for those solutions from our MP, Minister, assist our union to meet
with the Prime Minister on June 2, and provide a commitment to hold a
town-hall meeting in his constituency to discuss the forest crisis."
    "We firmly believe that if the forest industry were properly managed, it
would sustain hundreds of communities for years to come. Our goal is to
protect our own futures, as well as the future of our industry."

    CEP is demanding that the federal government:

    - Provide loan guarantees to forest companies facing financial difficulty
      so that they can keep operating.
    - Protect workers' pensions. The federal government must proclaim into
      law the part of the protection against creditors act (passed by
      Parliament in Dec. '07) that makes paying off workers pensions and
      wages a priority.
    - Level the playing field. Match U.S. tax credits to the industry for the
      use of alternative fuel - so that Canadian forest companies can compete
    - Set up a national adjustment fund for workers, their families and
      communities impacted by mill closures, and income support for older
    - Hold a national summit of key stakeholders on the future of the forest
      industry that includes employment stabilization and forest regeneration

For further information:

For further information: Pat Roy, (416) 931-2379,

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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