Central Interior Logging Assn. in British Columbia seeks work for truckers, loggers affected by Babine Forest Products disaster; executive director MaryAnne Arcand says job offers have been 'pouring in'

PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia , January 24, 2012 () – While Babine Forest Products and the United Steelworkers do what they can for the millworkers affected by the explosion and fire at the mill Friday evening, the Central Interior Logging Association is looking to help the truckers and loggers involved.

"The truckers and loggers are independent contractors," executive director MaryAnne Arcand said Tuesday morning. "There is usually two of them to every one person in the mill, sometimes more."

Job offers have been pouring in, she said.

"I've already had 15 e-mails today from contractors willing to take on some of the guys. They're going to have to go to Fort St. James or Mackenzie or somewhere else, though."

That's one of the reasons Arcand, who had figured on going to Burns Lake on Monday, was still in her Prince George office Tuesday,.

"I talked to our people our there and they said it's too soon to talk to people about this. Everybody there is still walking around in a daze."

People in Burns lake, she said, haven't had time yet to think about the ripple effects the destruction of the mill will have.

"We still have probably a month or two before breakup, and then they're going to be off for about four months. They need to make as much money as they can between now and breakup so they can still cover their truck payments and other expenses."

The current shortage of operators in the north means Arcand sees few problems in getting most, if not all, of the truckers and loggers into new jobs.

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