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Forestry workers go back to table as strike notice expires

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- As the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada's 72-hour strike notice expired, the union...

VANCOUVER, B.C. — As the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada’s 72-hour strike notice expired, the union has received an invite to return back to the bargaining table.

It’s hoped the resuming talks will help avert a strike that would see 12,000 unionized loggers and sawmill workers walk off the job, effectively bringing the coastal forestry industry to a halt.

The union remains in a legal strike position, despite its acceptance of the Forest Industrial Relations’ invitation to return to the table.

“Rebuilding the industry and putting people back to work requires us to keep talking and looking for ways to rebuild the industry and get people working again,” Forest Industrial Relations president Terry Lineker told local media.

Forestry companies are striving to reduce operating costs while the union has raised concerns about a decision by Weyerhaeuser to sell off some of its falling operations to private contractors. Truckers who specialize in hauling forestry products from the B.C. coast will have to wait to see if an agreement can be worked out to prevent the temporary shutdown of this industry.

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