VICTORIA -- Forestry workers on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in the province could soon be heading back to work after Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers (USW) union announced a tentative deal to end a nearly eight-month labour strike Monday.

The agreement comes less than a week after the province appointed special mediators to negotiate a deal between the two sides.

The USW bargaining committee is recommending the USW Local 1-1937 membership ratify the deal.

"With the assistance of special mediators, Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers, we have reached a fair and equitable agreement that balances the needs of our employees and our business," said WFP president and CEO Don Demens in a statement Monday.

“This has been a particularly challenging time and I’m pleased that we were able to find common ground through the efforts of all involved.”

The ongoing labour dispute between the union and WFP began in the summer and has affected approximately 3,000 forestry workers across B.C.