Mediators assisting in the United Steelworkers 1-1937 and Western Forest Products strike have withdrawn from the mediation process, according to the forest company, Pictured here, striking workers from a November rally in Nanaimo. (Black Press file)

Mediators withdraw from talks in Western Forest Products strike

Vince Ready, Amanda Rogers say they see no basis for negotiated settlement

  • Feb. 4, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Mediators assisting with talks in a labour dispute between the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 union and Western Forest Products have withdrawn their services, according to the company.

According to a press release issued this afternoon, Western Forest Products said Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers have informed both parties they have withdrawn from the mediation process “as they see no basis for a negotiated settlement at this time.”

In the press release, Don Demens, Western Forest Products’ president and CEO, expressed his disappointment at the latest development and the fact they were “unable to reach a negotiated settlement.”

“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,” Demens said in the press release.

RELATED: Steelworkers’ union, WFP look to end seven-month strike

Brian Butler, Steelworkers’ union president, could not be reached for comment, but previously stated that the union hoped the company would change its position on alternate shifts, adjust its drug and alcohol policy and withdraw asked-for concessions.

The strike began on July 1 and according to the press release, affects Western Forest Products’ USW-certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in B.C.

Approximately 1,500 of the company’s hourly employees, as well as about 1,500 workers in Western’s timberland’s operations and contractors, are impacted, the press release said.

READ ALSO: Striking Western Forest Products workers willing to ‘modify position’ if talks progress


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