Ignore employers' special pleading for Campbell, say Steelworkers

    BURNABY, BC, May 6 /CNW/ - - The same BC forest companies that have had a
free ride from Gordon Campbell are now trying to scare workers into voting for
the Liberals, say the United Steelworkers.
    In a letter sent to workers across BC today, Steelworkers Wood Council
Chair Bob Matters says that employers' past record show they can't be counted
    "Employers have been given a blank cheque by the Campbell government and
they don't want to give it up, plain and simple," says Matters, noting that
Campbell has allowed the same companies that are now trying to fear-monger
against the BC New Democrats to take profits made in BC and invest them in the
    "We're telling our members it's time for a change," says Matters. "It's
time we had a government that speaks for all British Columbians, not just
corporations and the privileged. We need a government that ensures that BC
resources benefit the people of BC by stopping raw-log exports, investing in
reforestation and manufacturing and offering real training opportunities in
resource-based communities."
    Matters notes that under the Canada-US Softwood Lumber Agreement,
companies sent their duty-free BC logs to be run through their duty-free US
mills but BC producers face a 15 percent border tax. "No wonder they love the
softwood lumber deal!" says Matters.
    In exchange for these favours from the government, companies have pumped
millions of dollars into the BC Liberal Party. Matters points out that the
same three companies - Interfor, Canfor and West Fraser -- now urging workers
to vote for Campbell have combined for donations of over $1.1 million to the
Liberal Party and Liberal candidates since 2001. "These guys don't donate for
charity," Steelworkers warn.
    Matters also noted that one of the CEOs, Duncan Davies of Interfor, was
one of the infamous "Three Amigos" who told workers and communities that they
would invest $1 billion and create thousands of jobs in return for policy and
labour-relations help from the government. "Campbell delivered, Davies
didn't," Matters observes, noting that companies continued to disinvest from
the Coast while spending millions on their US mills.
    "Workers should ignore this disparate effort to save Campbell's bacon,"
Matters urges. "We simply shouldn't believe their fear mongering."

For further information:

For further information: Bob Matters, (604) 683-1117

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