Entrance to Mosaic Forest Management’s Shoal Island Log Sort in Crofton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

United Steelworkers and Mosaic Forest Management reach landmark agreements

Crofton’s South Island Logistics shipping facility cited for unionization

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 and Mosaic Forest Management have reached agreements-in-principle that will bring increased collaboration, flexibility and certainty for workers and the company across its South Island and Northwest Bay operations.

The agreements-in-principle include unionization of Mosaic’s two shipping facilities at the South Island Logistics Facility in Crofton and Island Terminals at Duke Point, Nanaimo.

The agreements-in-principle, which are still subject to finalizing definitive agreements, USW member ratification and corporate approvals, will also deliver improved job opportunities and long-term security for USW members; better operational flexibility relating to the movement of contractors, equipment and logs across Mosaic’s South Island operations and certainty for USW members and Mosaic through a renewed collective agreement at the Northwest Bay Operation near Nanoose Bay which will run until 2025.

“These landmark agreements, once ratified, will bring increased certainty for approximately 650 of our union members on Vancouver Island,” noted Brian Butler, president of USW Local 1-1937. “Working together with Mosaic on unionizing the shipping facilities also reflects our collective desire for policies that support access to both international and domestic log markets. Given the current context, the USW 1-1937 supports immediate temporary relief on federal log export policy for private land to kick-start the Coastal forest sector, on which thousands of workers, their families and communities depend.”

“These are tough times and we have heard our members loud and clear,” added Richard Arnason, second vice president of USW Local 1-1937. “We have worked extremely hard with Mosaic to deliver a set of mutually beneficial changes to respond to our members’ needs and address legacy issues, all of which are subject to ratification by our members.”

“These agreements-in-principle will allow our operations to be configured optimally, while providing greater employment certainty for union members,” added Jeff Zweig, president and chief executive officer of Mosaic. “Working together with government and labour, we are striving to deliver the best social, economic and sustainability outcomes, consistent with the realities of the international markets in which the B.C. coastal forest sector must compete. This agreement will certainly help to create the conditions for Mosaic to restart production.”

“Comprehensive and progressive solutions like these do not come overnight,” said Benjamin Lee, vice president of business development, who led negotiations for Mosaic. “It requires from both sides creativity, mutual respect, investment of time and a concerted effort to shape a better future despite current events.”

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