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News & Policy


May 30, 2016

Out of work Alberni loggers worried about losing medical benefits

Out of work Alberni loggers worried about losing medical benefits
Chek News, May 209, 2016 

Bruce Stelmacker has had lots of time for gardening this spring.
 
He’s one of about 125 workers who have been off the job since Christmas because of a dispute between his employer Island Pacific Logging and Western Forest Products.
 
“We don’t know how long this is going on. We have no idea” lamented Stelmacker when  CHEK News visited his Port Alberni home for an interview Sunday.
 
The dispute is over the rate Island Pacific Logging should be paid by WFP and has left 232,000 hectares of land on the island between Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Lake Cowichan quiet.
 
“You try to cope with it as best you can. Some of us are able to depend on our personal lines of credit and to get by. We’re selling things. People are selling their cars, their boats. I’m going to sell my truck and my canoe to try to keep some cash coming in” said Stelmacker.
 


May 26, 2016

Stephen Hume: Contract dispute leaves prime timber to rot

Stephen Hume: Contract dispute leaves prime timber to rot
Vancouver Sun, May 25, 2016
 
...Meanwhile, the Truck Logger’s Association, representing over 450 independent forest contractors and their suppliers, observes that the province enabled concentration of ownership of forest licences more than a decade ago.
 
Has this policy unintentionally created an unequal playing field for the small contractors who negotiate operating rates with the fewer, bigger companies holding consolidated timber rights?
 
Since 2013, the truck loggers point out, more than 25 contractors have sought insolvency protection or been forced into bankruptcy and 10 went to mediation or arbitration when they couldn’t negotiate better rates.
 
Such disputes between the immense companies that control much of coastal B.C.’s public timber harvest and struggling independent contractors signal a forest sector malaise that deserves the province’s attention, the truck loggers warn.
 
Otherwise, expect to see more felled but unharvested logs like those in TFL 44, dwindling of stumpage revenues to the public purse, more idled forest workers like those in Port Alberni and yet more economic fallout as once-thriving forestry communities are rendered unsustainable.
 

May 19, 2016

Logging dispute keeps 120 workers off the job in Port Alberni

Rate dispute between Western Forest Products and Island Pacific Logging keeps workers at home and logs on the ground.
 
“We’re going to have a long dry summer, I mean just look, it’s a fire waiting to happen.”
 
That was how NDP MLA Scott Fraser described what he was seeing as he toured a cut block between Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan Wednesday.
 
It is where massive, valuable logs have been sitting untouched for up to two years in some places in tenures held by Western Forest Products.
 
“It’s rotting. It’s a fire hazard in what could be another bad fire season and there’s over a hundred workers who should be at work and they’re not so it’s impacting the local economy,” Fraser told CHEK News....

Chek News, Posted By: Dean Stoltzon: May 18, 2016





May 18, 2016

Understanding Contractor Sustainability

What does contractor sustainability really mean? Find out here!









May 16, 2016

Year in Review

What has the TLA achieved over the last 12 months? Take a look at our Year In Review document updated since the 73rd Annual Convention & Trade Show to include the work we did this spring. The TLA believes that a strong and sustainable working forest will generate long-term prosperity for the people of British Columbia, and that the people who work in our forests should share in this prosperity.



May 09, 2016

Press Release: Minister Thomson announces $1 million replenishment to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund

PRESS RELEASE:

Minister Thomson announces $1 million replenishment to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund

 
May 6, 2016 Vernon – Today Minister Steve Thomson announced an additional $1 million contribution to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund—bringing government’s total fund contributions to $7 million—in a move that supports contractor sustainability and the independent harvesting contractors at the heart of BC’s forest industry. 
 
Thomson made the announcement at the Interior Logging Association’s 58th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Vernon, BC.
 
“Since it came online in 2013, almost $500,000 has been paid from the Fund to contractors who were working for licensees that became insolvent,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “This shows the fund is needed to support contractors left high and dry.”
 
Forest contractors run locally owned businesses that create jobs throughout BC’s rural communities.  When these companies are left in the lurch by a tenure holder that becomes insolvent, the whole community suffers. “We’ve seen this happen more than once,” said Elstone. “And we know that the ripples are felt throughout our communities.”
 
For the first time, silviculture contractors are also able to access the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund. “This is recognition of the important role silviculture plays within the forest sector,” said John Betts, Executive Director of the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association. “We remain optimistic about the forest sector in BC. Nevertheless, this will provide some business certainty for our member as they contribute to the future forests of BC.”
 
“By his actions, we know Minister Thomson understands that harvesting and silviculture contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities and values the jobs they create,” said Elstone. “We look forward to the future where the Fund will have an ongoing replenishment mechanism. However, we sincerely thank Minister Thomson for his efforts today.”
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents over 460 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90 per cent of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
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For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca