VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that the Company, as well as some of our contractors, have been served with 72-hour strike notice from the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-1937 (“Union”) in relation to some of its operations in British Columbia, Canada.

Western has been in negotiations with the Union since April 2019 for a new collective agreement to replace the Company’s prior agreement with the Union. The prior collective agreement expired in mid-June and covered approximately 1,500 of the Company’s hourly employees in British Columbia.

Negotiations between the parties stalled in the beginning of June when the Union cancelled scheduled bargaining sessions. The Company applied to the British Columbia Labour Relations Board (“Board”) on June 25, 2019 seeking to have a mediator appointed to assist in negotiations. The Union has yet to agree to meet with the Company and a mediator.

“We are disappointed that the Union has chosen to serve us with strike notice”, said Don Demens, President & Chief Executive Officer of Western. “We remain hopeful that a mediator can get us back to the bargaining table to negotiate an agreement that creates certainty for our employees, customers, and the communities where we operate, as has been done in the northern and southern interior of British Columbia.”

Western is committed to reaching a mutually beneficial collective agreement that recognizes the value of our employees while ensuring we remain globally competitive.

About Western Forest Products Inc.

Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements under the applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements and can be identified by the use of words such as “will”, “may” and similar references to future periods. Forward looking statements in this new release include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the potential to reach an agreement with respect to a labour dispute. Although such statements reflect management’s current reasonable beliefs, expectations and assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements are accurate, and actual results or performance may materially vary. Many factors could cause our actual results or performance to be materially different, including strike activity, the inability to predict the outcomes of any such activity, the timing it may take to resolve a labour dispute, a change in the Company’s financial situation, general economic conditions and other factors referenced under the “Risks and Uncertainties” section of our MD&A in our 2018 Annual Report dated February 12, 2019.

For further information, please contact:

Media Inquiries:
Susan Dolinski
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
(604) 648-4556

Investor Inquiries:
Stephen Williams,
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
(604) 648-4500