Union president vows to fight harder in wake of more mill closures

    EDMUNSTON, NB, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - "Employers, especially in the
forestry sector, have deliberately taken the money they have earned from our
publicly-owned natural resources and invested them elsewhere in the world,"
the president of Canada's largest forestry union, Dave Coles, told the New
Brunswick Federation of Labour today.
    Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of
Canada, addressed convention delegates shortly after learning that the UPM
Kymmene paper and ground wood mills in Miramichi, N.B., will shut down for
nine to 12 months, and that four more mills in Quebec are facing temporary
    "These communities are a microcosm of what is going on in more than four
dozen communities from coast to coast to coast," he said, noting that in the
past three years, more than 12,000 pulp, paper and sawmill workers have been
put on the street across Canada.
    "Forest companies are investing those good Canadian dollars in places
where workers can most easily be exploited. And then they have the nerve to
say Canadian workers can't compete."
    Coles called on the delegates to fight back and help CEP get the message
out that this crisis needs government intervention. He reminded them that CEP
was part of a multi-union lobby effort last week on Parliament Hill organized
by the Canadian Labour Congress, and that mill workers in Ontario have been
blocking bridges and barricading the Trans Canada highway to draw attention to
their plight.
    "Mr. Harper and his government need to know that this is just the
beginning. ...We have no intention of letting him sell our resources, our jobs
and our country off to the highest bidder," said Coles.

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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