United Steelworkers and Mosaic Forest Management Reach Landmark Agreements

May 13, 2020

By: The Working Forest Staff

Courtenay, BC, Mosaic Forest Management — United Steelworkers (USW, Local 1-1937) and Mosaic Forest Management have reached agreements-in-principle that will bring increased collaboration, flexibility and certainty for workers and Mosaic across its South Island and Northwest Bay operations.

 The agreements-in-principle are subject to finalizing definitive agreements, USW member ratification and corporate approvals, and will deliver:  

  • improved job opportunities and long-term security for USW members; 
  • better operational flexibility relating to the movement of contractors, equipment and logs across Mosaic’s South Island operations; 
  • unionization of Mosaic’s two shipping facilities at Island Terminals (Duke Point) and South Island Logistics Facility (Crofton); and 
  • certainty for USW members and Mosaic through a renewed collective agreement at Northwest Bay Operation which will run from 2020 to 2025. 

“These landmark agreements, once ratified, will bring increased certainty for approximately 650 of our union members on Vancouver Island,” said Brian Butler, President of USW Local 1-1937. “Working together with Mosaic on unionizing the shipping facilities also reflects our collective desire for policies that support access to both international and domestic log markets.  Given the current context, the USW 1-1937 supports immediate temporary relief on federal log export policy for private land to kick-start the Coastal forest sector, on which thousands of workers, their families and communities depend.” 

“These are tough times and we have heard our members loud and clear. We have worked extremely hard with Mosaic to deliver a set of mutually beneficial changes to respond to our members’ needs and address legacy issues, all of which are subject to ratification by our members,” said Richard Arnason, 2nd Vice President of USW Local 1-1937. 

“These agreements-in-principle will allow our operations to be configured optimally while providing greater employment certainty for union members,” said Jeff Zweig, President & CEO of Mosaic. “Working together with Government and Labour, we are striving to deliver the best social, economic and sustainability outcomes, consistent with the realities of the international markets in which the BC coastal forest sector must compete.  This agreement will certainly help to create the conditions for Mosaic to restart production.”  

“Comprehensive and progressive solutions like these do not come overnight.  It requires from both sides creativity, mutual respect, investment of time and a concerted effort to shape a better future despite current events,” said Benjamin Lee, Vice President, Business Development, who led negotiations for Mosaic.  

About United Steelworkers Local 1-1937   USW Local 1-1937 is a full-service local union that represents over 6,100 members working in a wide range of occupations including logging, sawmilling, manufacturing, construction, mining, maintenance, trucking, casinos, warehouses, fabricating, agriculture and public sector workplaces. USW Local 1-1937 has offices located in Duncan, Courtenay, Port Alberni, Burnaby and Port McNeill.

About Mosaic Forest Management Corp.   Mosaic Forest Management is the timberlands manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands – two affiliated companies that have operated on Vancouver Island for over a century, delivering sustainable forest management within their private forest lands and Crown tenure areas. Mosaic employs several thousand people, directly and indirectly, striving to achieve the best economic, social and sustainability outcomes from the working forest. For more information, visit mosaicforests.com

 

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