VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that its hourly employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (“USW”) have voted in support of the tentative agreement to replace the collective agreement that expired on June 14, 2019. The new 5-year collective agreement is effective from June 15, 2019 and expires on June 14, 2024 and provides for general wage increases as follows:
YearPercentageYear 13%Year 22%Year 32%Year 43%Year 52.5%
“We are pleased to have a new collective agreement in place that recognizes the important contributions our employees make and enables Western to serve our customers who, through their purchases support thousands of jobs on the coast of British Columbia,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are focused on planning for a safe return to work, and while our goal is to begin operating as soon as possible, startup will be contingent on availability of employees and contractors, market demand, weather conditions and sufficient log supply.”
The new agreement also provides for improvements to health and welfare benefits and clarifies the application of Western’s Alcohol and Drug Policy. Western has maintained its management rights to operate alternate shifts while agreeing to an enhanced shift review process. The agreement also provides the Company with additional operational flexibility in its Timberlands operations through the ability to introduce additional USW contractors to ensure it is meeting its Annual Allowable Cut requirements.
About Western Forest Products Inc.
Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.
This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by the use of words such as “will”, “may”, “expect” and similar references to future periods. Although such statements reflect management’s current reasonable beliefs, expectations and assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements are accurate, and actual performance or outcomes may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different, including a change in the Company’s financial situation, general economic conditions, and other factors referenced under the “Risks and Uncertainties” section of our MD&A in our 2019 Annual Report dated February 11, 2020.
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