Kamloops and Unifor join forces to save British Columbia's forestry industry

Source: Unifor

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On May 30, Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle, Local 10-B President Sheldon Morice, and 1st Vice President Wes Mitchell toured the Kruger pulp mill in Kamloops, B.C., and met with local leaders to address the mill’s struggles with a consistent economic access to fiber.

McGarrigle emphasized that this issue affects mills across the interior and the coast, highlighting Kamloops as a key forestry hub whose success relies on provincial government action.

During discussions with Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson and City Councillor Katie Neustaeter, Unifor suggested that Kamloops city council adopt a motion supporting forestry jobs and present it at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) meeting. This could help escalate the issue and pressure the provincial government to take decisive action.

McGarrigle criticized the B.C. Liberals' management of the forestry sector from 2002–2015 and acknowledged the BCNDP's progress in restoring the industry. However, he stressed the urgency for continued government action to support forestry communities.

The proposed forestry motion may be considered at an upcoming Kamloops council meeting. The campaign, initiated by Unifor, the United Steelworkers, and the PPWC, focuses on ensuring a stable fiber supply and strengthening B.C.'s forestry industry to create jobs and support communities. A comprehensive paper on the campaign is available online.