B.C. Labour minister to meet with both sides in forestry dispute
B.C. Minister of Labour Harry Bains speaks to reporters in Victoria on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (CTV)
VICTORIA -- B.C.'s Labour Minister is poised to meet with the parties in a forestry strike that began July 1.
Efforts to break the stalemate began last weekend between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, under the guidance of mediators Vince Reddy and Amanda Rogers.
But talks broke off.
Prior to those talks, Premier John Horgan urged the parties to settle their issues and get employees back to work.
Labour Minister Harry Bains says it’s disappointing the mediated effort failed, but says he is now arranging to meet with representatives of both sides to discuss how to move forward and find a solution.
“I will be clear to both parties that this dispute is placing an unacceptable burden on coastal forestry communities, and I will strongly recommend to both that they return to the table and get a deal done," Bains said Wednesday.
"We know that the best collective agreements come through negotiations at the bargaining table. We need this agreement settled so that everyone involved can get back to work, supporting the forest sector and forestry jobs in British Columbia," he added.