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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Western Forest Products Inc (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (“USW”) withdrew from mediation with the Company and independent-mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers after a few hours of talks on late Friday, September 13, 2019. The mediators informed the Company that the USW had left, and would not be returning for talks, scheduled for the full day on September 14, 2019.
“We are disappointed that talks have broken off and firmly believe that resuming discussions with the assistance of an independent-mediator is the best way for both parties to resolve our differences,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. “It is surprising that the USW continues to refuse to give the mediation process the opportunity to work, given what is at stake for our employees, customers and the communities in which we operate.”
The strike affects all the Company’s USW certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in British Columbia, impacting approximately 1,500 of the Company’s hourly employees and approximately 1,500 employees working for the Company’s timberland operators and contractors.
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 results or performance may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different, including strike activity, the inability to predict the outcomes of any such activity, the inability to predict the outcome of mediation, the timing it may take to resolve a labour dispute, 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 2018 Annual Report dated February 12, 2019.
For further information, please contact:
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer