REPORTING · 4th December 2009
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union has consulted their membership and the results are in. The CEP will be carrying out a feasibility study to look into purchasing Eurocan from West Fraser. CEP 298 voted 91% in favour of the study while CEP 1127 voted 92%.
“Now that we got the direction from the membership to go into the feasibility study, whats going to happen is: we have the council with their full support, the community with their full support, the Chamber of Commerce and then we’ll have some financial backing so there is some financial backing in the background. We’ll meet in Vancouver and set up the plan to hire a person to do the feasibility study. […] What they’ll do is review the books and review the equipment and review the state of the mill and they’ll put a report together and that report will go back to the local,” said Mary Murphy, CEP 298 president.
Murphy stated that Minister of Forests, Pat Bell, also met with the unions on Tuesday during his visit to Kitimat. He gave the CEP full support in their endeavour, as he would like to see something done with that mill.
Murphy stated that if the union is able to purchase the mill, it might not look the same as it always has. Some modifications might be made. Before they make plans though, the feasibility study has to take place. They have to know if the purchase is worthwhile. She admitted that the pulp and paper industry needs saving.
A low percentage of the union voted against the feasibility study. When asked what their concerns were, Murphy stated that these were people who were concerned that this would interfere with their severance packages and pension.
“Our pension is fully funded which means that for the people that are paying into the pension plan right now, they will get a pension at the end of the day. The pension plan is not an issue at all with the pulp and paper industry. It’s been doing really well,” said Murphy.
She is asking everyone to sign the petitions on the forest crisis which have been distributed throughout the Sacred Circle to try and get all the key players to the table to discuss the industry. “Keep jobs in Canada for our children and our grandchildren because that should be our top priority,” said Murphy.