Emerging from the Rendez-Vous de la Forêt Québécoise organized by the Quebec government, Unifor praised the commitments made by elected officials to workers in the forest industry.
“We’ve been waiting for these measures for a long time,” said Unifor Quebec Assistant Director Renaud Gagné.
“Nonetheless, we have pledged to remain vigilant in the coming months to ensure that their words are converted into concrete action,” Gagné promised.
Unifor members have been warning for years that Quebec’s new forestry regime would have a catastrophic effect on working conditions and pay in the forestry industry unless changes were made.
Today, more than eight months after the regime came into force, the situation is even grimmer than anticipated by Unifor, with the disappearance of 30 per cent of unionized jobs and a 15-25 per cent decline in working conditions.
That is why Unifor organized a demonstration that brought together nearly 200 Unifor forestry workers and militants at the start of the Nov 21-22 Rendez-Vous de la Forêt. Minister of Natural Resources Martine Ouellet stepped outside to address the protesters, with a promise to resolve these issues.
Premier Pauline Marois also made a clear commitment to rectify the situation before the start of the next logging season.