Unions representing workers in Quebec's forestry sector say the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (MRNF) is going in the wrong direction for forestry sector consutlations.
Unifor, United Steelworkers, the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD) and the Fédération de l'industrie manufacturière (FIM-CSN) were united in their denounciation of the MRNF’s process announced during a press conference held on February 7 in Saguenay Quebec.
Last November, the MRNF launched a wide-ranging consultation and review of the “future of the forest”. However, there is no mention of the crucial issues facing forestry workers in the planning document for the twelve regional roundtables scheduled for 2024.
Unifor says the roundtables must allow workers to address key issues including: the impacts of the transformation of management practices, shrinking forest potential, climate volatility and economic uncertainty.
"We demand a space at the roundtables to discuss issues important to workers. Quebec needs a global and inclusive vision for its forests based on the expertise of workers in the industry," said Unifor Quebec Director Daniel Cloutier.
In addition, union leaders point out that the current process is taking place in the absence of a caribou strategy, which can only inhibit the development of a comprehensive policy for forests.
The four unions are calling for an immediate review of the consultation process, so that workers can take their rightful place at the heart of these crucial discussions for the future of Quebec's forests.