|Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005|
Editor: I am writing this letter to let the public know just how TimberWest has treated its employees.
I started the day by going to pick up the mail and what did I get, a TimberWest Neighbours newsletter. On the front page is an article, Contractors selected for TW operations. Munns Lumber is going to be the contractor for Honeymoon Bay Operations and the Cowichan Woodlands Operations.
On December 28 at 11:30 I went to a meeting with the new contractor employer. My only question was how many employees were they going to keep and the answer was 40 out of 82 TimberWest employees. I have 30 years seniority and no longer am employed. More than 40 loggers with a lot of time in the industry and their lives will change forever.
I would also have to blame our Liberal government for letting TimberWest do whatever the hell it wants, like getting rid of the Youbou mill, selling off our tree farm licence and contracting out our jobs.
Where is MLA Graham Bruce when all this is going on? Presenting a cheque for $600,000 of our hard-earned tax dollars to the Chemainus Theatre. Just where are you when our industry is going to the dogs? It must be easy to give all that money away.
Too bad a lot of us who contributed through our taxes to that Chemainus Theatre grant will not be able to afford to go to the theatre. We now join the growing list of unemployed loggers and millworkers.
It would have been heartwarming for Mr. Bruce to step forward over the removal of Clause 7 when he was in a position to do so (as he promised at a meeting in Lake Cowichan before the election) or the selling off of the tree farm licence that went with that clause or the contracting out of jobs that followed as a consequence of these actions by the forest companies.
We now have shareholders, companies and contractors all making a profit from the industry. Let's not forget the guys who do the actual work - and guess who gets to take the financial hit?
I heard Mr. Bruce came to Lake Cowichan to a chamber of commerce meeting to be the guest speaker. He should have brought us a cheque.
That said, Mr. Bruce, our MLA and Labour Minister, you should have stood up for us and beside us as we slowly watched a way of life disappear. You didn't, so don't expect us to stand up for you either. May is not that far away.
Now that I am unemployed I have lots of time to write letters, so you will be hearing from me shortly, Graham.