OTTAWA, June 1, 2017 /CNW/ - The relief package for the softwood lumber industry is welcomed by forestry workers as a good start to cushioning the blow dealt by new U.S. duties on Canadian softwood exports.
"Today the federal government has shown real leadership in protecting good resource jobs," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "This is welcome news for dozens of communities that are already feeling the pain of unfair trade sanctions."
The Trump government's re-introduction of duties on Canadian softwood exports threatens tens of thousands of Canadian jobs and could cost the industry billions. Unifor has been lobbying the federal government to take action to support forestry communities in hopes of mitigating the effect of anticipated job losses as duties are imposed and until a new agreement is negotiated.
U.S. industry claims that Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized have proven to be unfounded in past, including by international trade tribunals.
The union welcomes today's federal assistance measures, but cautions that the softwood lumber trade dispute is far from over.
"We continue to press the federal governments of both Canada and the U.S. to negotiate a fair deal," said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. "Today's announcement is good progress and we're optimistic that the federal government can add to this relief program as time goes on."
The U.S. has already signalled that anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood exports could be added in June 2017 to compound the countervailing duties.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information: Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell).