Boise, Idaho, USA, 02 July 2008 – Boise Cascade, L.L.C., announced employees are on strike at the company's AllJoist engineered wood products facility in St. Jacques, New Brunswick, Canada. Members of the Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP, or Syndicat canadien des communications de l'énergie et du papier) voted to reject the company's labor contract settlement offer and exercised their option to go out on strike 30 June.
The company has taken action to ensure that customer needs are met with minimal disruption, and to ensure the safety and security of employees and property. “We are hopeful the union will continue to engage in efforts to resolve this matter quickly so that employees can return to work and we can all focus our efforts on the success of the AllJoist operation," said Dave Rigdon, plant manager.
"This action by the union is unfortunate and quite surprising given that the parties have bargained in good faith to reach a fair and competitive agreement," says Rigdon. “We are bargaining in the toughest economic conditions the wood products industry has experienced in our lifetime. The company's economic proposal includes increased wages and enhanced retirement and vacation benefits. I am not aware of a more competitive offer in our industry in this part of the country.”
Boise Cascade and the CEP have been in negotiations for 18 months; the prior agreement expired on 31 December 2006. The plant employs 147 people, 115 of them are CEP members.
The company offer includes a lump sum payment for all employees upon ratification, positive wage adjustments to most job classifications, and 11% in pay increases over the next four years. Additionally, the offer includes the introduction of a retirement savings plan and an increased vacation schedule.
About Boise Cascade
Boise Cascade manufactures engineered wood products, plywood, lumber, and particleboard and distributes a broad line of building materials, including wood products manufactured by the company. The company is privately owned and headquartered in Boise, Idaho.