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Province must take leadership in Northern Pulp situation

November 14, 2018

Unifor is calling on Premier Stephen McNeil and his government to take a leadership role to resolve the growing tensions surrounding the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County.

The union is very concerned about the tense situation in the community, including the possibility of Northern Pulp closing the mill until an effluent treatment facility can be completed.

“This situation has gone on long enough. The tensions and divisions continue to grow and the Premier needs to play a leadership role here,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “We expect him to step in, bring all parties together, and attempt to have a reasonable dialogue in hopes of finding a resolution.”

“We are also calling on the premier to protect and stand up for good jobs in the province, like those at the mill and the hundreds and hundreds of workers in communities around Nova Scotia who depend on this mill for their livelihoods,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. “There is no reason we can’t protect the environment and have good jobs in the forest sector.”

There are numerous pulp and paper mills that operate safely and with environmentally sound effluent processing facilities in Canada along the coastline, including in British Columbia.

Unifor represents over 230 workers at the mill. These are good-paying jobs that help sustain the region. Many sawmills and their employees in the province also rely on the mill for their livelihoods. The economic impact of a closure would be devastating to hundreds of Pictou County families and would have a very negative impact on the Nova Scotian economy as a whole.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

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