Council of Forest Industries

Council of Forest Industries

February 22, 2007 19:41 ET

Forest Industry Supports Action to Resolve Rail Dispute

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 22, 2007) - The Council of Forest Industries today called on government to take action to resolve the labour dispute at CN before sawmills, pulp mills and other rail dependant manufacturing facilities find it necessary to shut down.

"COFI members have been patient in anticipation of a negotiated settlement," stated COFI President John Allan, "but it appears that is not available and now the economic stability of companies and communities are at risk."

Mills in the interior of British Columbia have seen inventories increasing at an unacceptable rate with some companies experiencing a backup equivalent to 75 rail cars a day. Congestion at shipping points is reaching a critical stage as incoming freight is not being moved adding further to the backlog that will take weeks to return to normal.

"We would prefer to see a negotiated settlement," added Allan, "but at this point our members, their employees and the communities in which they work are all rapidly becoming victims of this dispute. In addition, as each day passes we again see the erosion of international confidence in our transportation system at a time when so many are working hard to develop our Pacific Gateway," he concluded.

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