TERRACE, B.C. — Truckers who have been anxious to start hauling wood from the recently sold Skeena Cellulose plant will have to keep their trucks parked for a while longer.
The company’s new owner has asked staff to accept pay cuts of up to 20 per cent — a request that has been adamantly refused by unionized workers.
NWBC Timber and Pulp president, Daniel Veniez, announced he would be taking a vacation, in light of the response.
“He’s en extortionist,” slammed one of the company’s log loader operators. “It’s economic terrorism.”
Workers at the mill now make at least $21.50 per hour, and refuse to sacrifice any of it in order to get back to work. Veniez, however, says some concessions must be made and has offered profit-sharing initiatives to compensate for reduced wages.
While unionized workers say they are refusing to budge, unemployment in the Northwest reached new highs this spring. The latest statistics indicate that in April, the unemployment rate edged up to 15.8 per cent, largely due to the shutdown and eventual sale of Skeena Cellulose.
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