The NDP says forestry jobs have been disappearing at an alarming rate in BC — and they put some of the blame on the Liberal government.
The party’s reps for Vernon Monashee and Shuswap held a media event in Armstrong Thursday with local mill workers and with Pat McGregor, the president of the United Steelworkers local 1-423.
Candidate Barry Dorval says there’s uncertainty for workers with the softwood lumber dispute and ongoing job losses.
“We’ve lost over 30-thousand jobs since the time the Liberals have been in power in forestry, so many of the workers are looking at this and they’re seeing the writing on the wall, and they’re wondering ‘Am I next?'”
Photo: NDP candidate Barry Dorval at media event with mill workers in Armstrong
Dorval says the NDP plan proposes to use more BC wood in BC buildings, and to ensure that more BC logs stay in communities to support value-added jobs.
“People are pulling fibre out of the forest, but they not using them the mills that are here and they’re heading south. That’s not helping people this community. That’s for sure,” says Dorval.
Dorval says the union’s local president is also upset at how the Liberals are portraying them.
“In their ads, they paint this picture of the big, bad American union. And he (McGregor) stood up here and said, ‘Listen, what you’ve got to understand is the people in the United Steelworkers are the people behind me in this mill who live in this community. These are your neighbors.'”
Shuswap candidate Sylvia Lindgren says forestry provides the sustainable, family supporting jobs that help communities thrive.
“If we want our children and grandchildren to have the same quality of life we have had, if we want our seniors to be able to age with dignity right here in our communities, if we want these things, we need to have more than part-time low paying jobs. If we want these things we need the good paying union jobs that forestry can provide.”