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Atlantic's largest forestry union applauds long-term plan for sector

FREDERICTON, March 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The long-anticipated forestry plan for New Brunswick was met with approval from Atlantic Canada's largest forestry union. Unifor represents over 2,550 workers in the forestry sector in New Brunswick and over 25,000 across Canada. It has lobbied the provincial government for years for a long-term, stable plan for this key industry in New Brunswick.

"We are very happy to see this new plan," said Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor. "This is a perfect example of government, companies and organized labour working together for the betterment of our economy."

The provincial government's plan is a much-needed step before any potential industry investment can take place, according to Rino Ouellet, Atlantic area director for Unifor.

"It is important that we see investment and commitment to our forestry industry," said Ouellet. "Companies were unable to make those investments without knowing what their resource forecasts would look like, but with this plan, we expect those investments to happen."

The forestry sector has changed dramatically in the last decade due to shifting global demand and a transition from resources like newsprint to digital media. The industry was also among the hardest hit in manufacturing during the recent recession, with a nearly 50 per cent loss in jobs in the Atlantic region.

"The Newfoundland government just made investment in this sector and I'm very glad to see our government follow suit in supporting this industry," said Ouellet.

Unifor is the largest union in the private sector, representing more than 300,000 workers in 20 different sectors. Unifor was formed last Labour Day weekend by the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.


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