PPWC union workers at Catalyst Paper's Crofton, British Columbia, pulp and paper mill to vote Jan. 28 on new five-year contract; deal would affect PPWC's roughly 400 members

DUNCAN, British Columbia , January 24, 2012 () – A fresh five-year contract between Crofton's pulp-mill owners and one of its two union faces a worker ratification vote Saturday.

"We came to a tentative agreement with the company last night at about 10 p.m.," said Kevin McPetrie of the Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada said Tuesday about strenuous talks with mill owner, Catalyst Paper.

He declined to give any other details about the pending deal affecting PPWC's 400-some members.

"We agree this is the best possible agreement under these (tough market) conditions," McPetrie said.

Balloting happens at 3 and 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Crofton Community Hall

Details about talks between the mill's smaller Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union and Catalyst were unavailable by press time.

Terms of a a massive restructuring process by Catalyst stipulate new contracts with both local unions by Jan. 31

"If all the pieces fall into place, the best-case scenario is it will provide another five years of stability," McPetrie said.

Other pieces include Catalyst working out restructuring details with bondholders, and weathering depressed markets, he noted.

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