Special Mediators Appointed to Resolve USW Strike
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that British Columbia’s Minister of Labour has appointed Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers as special mediators (“Special Mediators”) in the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (“USW”) strike pursuant to section 76 of the Labour Relations Code.
The specific terms of reference of the Special Mediators outlined by the Minister of Labour include:The Special Mediators will work with the parties for a period of ten (10) days;If no settlement is reached with the assistance of the Special Mediators, then on the twelfth day (12th) from the date of the appointment, or a period of time the Minister may deem appropriate, the Special Mediators will issue to the parties and to the Minister’s office recommended terms of settlement and/or an alternate mechanism by which resolution of the issues in dispute can be reached; andIn the event recommendations are issued, the parties will have five (5) days from the date the recommendations are issued to either accept or reject the recommendations. The recommendations may be made public by the Minister of Labour within this period.In response to the appointment of the Special Mediators Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western released the following statement:“The coastal forest industry continues to face significant competitive and cost structure challenges. With the appointment of the Special Mediators we are hopeful that this process will soon result in a fair and equitable agreement that recognizes the contributions of our employees while maintaining the sustainability of the industry that Western, our employees, contractors, communities and customers rely on.”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 with the assistance of special mediators, 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: