New Brunswick's aid package to help Arbec Forest Products reopen Miramichi OSB plant is welcome sign of confidence in forest industry, says CEP

MIRAMICHI, New Brunswick , February 3, 2012 (press release) – The union representing forestry workers in New Brunswick says the provincial government's financial package for Arbec Forest Products is a welcome sign of confidence in the forest industry.

"We applaud the Government of New Brunswick's support for forestry workers," says Chuck Shewfelt, Atlantic Vice-President for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

"We see this as a sign of confidence in the forest industry, its workforce, and the local communities."

The provincial government is providing a financial package and wood allocation agreement to assist Arbec Forest Products Inc. in reopening an oriented strand board (OSB) mill in Miramichi.

Arbec recently purchased the OSB mill from Weyerhaeuser. The mill has been idle since it closed in February 2007, resulting in the loss of more than 100 direct full-time mill jobs.

"We are looking forward to working productively with Arbec to ensure a promising future for our members," adds Shewfelt.

The provincial government is providing a $15.3-million financial package to the company, including a $1.5-million payroll rebate; a $5.6-million term loan; a $1.2-million contribution for capital expenditures and start-up costs; and a $7-million loan guarantee.

CEP is Canada's largest forestry union, representing more than 60,000 forestry workers. There are 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the forest sector.

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