Mediators Withdraw from Mediation Process
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that the Company and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (“USW”) have received a letter from independent mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers informing the parties that they have withdrawn from the meditation process as they see no basis for a negotiated settlement at this time.
“We are disappointed that despite previous proposals offering superior wage and contract provisions to what the USW and the forest sector have agreed to throughout British Columbia we have been unable to reach a negotiated settlement,” said Don Demens, President & Chief Executive Officer of Western. “We will continue to explore all options available to bring an end to the prolonged USW strike and have reached out to the Ministry of Labour to seek clarification on next steps.”“We recognize the profound impact the strike is having on our employees, contractors, their families and communities. We remain committed to reaching a fair and equitable agreement that recognizes the important contributions of our employees, while maintaining the sustainability of our business so that we can continue to serve our customers who, through their purchases, support thousands of jobs in communities on the coast of British Columbia,” said Mr. Demens.The strike, which commenced on July 1, 2019, affects all the Company’s USW certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in British Columbia, impacting approximately 1,500 of the Company’s hourly employees and approximately 1,500 employees working for the Company’s timberland’s operations and contractors.About Western Forest Products Inc.Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.Forward-looking StatementsThis press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by the use of words such as “will”, “may”, “expect” and similar references to future periods. Although such statements reflect management’s current reasonable beliefs, expectations and assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements are accurate, and actual performance or outcomes may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different, including strike activity, the inability to predict the outcomes of any such activity, the inability to predict the outcome of mediation, the timing it may take to resolve a labour dispute, a change in the Company’s financial situation, general economic conditions, and other factors referenced under the “Risks and Uncertainties” section of our MD&A in our 2018 Annual Report dated February 12, 2019.For further information, please contact: