Published On: Friday, 06 May 2016

Logging Associations Convene to Defend Contractor Sustainability

Logging Associations Convene to Defend Contractor Sustainability
The meeting comes in advance of the ILA’s 58th Annual Conference & Trade Show amid growing financial pressures on independent contractors and communities across BC as a result of tenure consolidation.

VERNON - Concerns over the viability of small business logging companies have prompted two forestry trade organizations to work together to seek solutions. The Truck Loggers Association (TLA) board will meet with the Interior Logging Association (ILA) board to discuss contractor sustainability and what must be done to build contractor sustainability in BC’s forest industry.

David Elstone, TLA Executive Director says “tenure consolidation has allowed major tenure holders to squeeze timber harvesting contractors, their workers and suppliers to the verge of bankruptcy.” He added that as these small companies go out of business, it will have a devastating effect on the communities in which they operate.

The situation in the Alberni valley—where the contractor at the heart of the issue is simply trying to stay sustainable—illustrates this issue. The Port Alberni contractor’s employees have not worked since Christmas. This Alberni dispute is not “just a rate dispute.” It represents the struggles of contractors across this province and shows what will happen elsewhere if something is not done.

“And things are just as bad in the Interior,” says Wayne Lintott, ILA General Manager, which is why the TLA and ILA are joining forces to look for solutions.

Minister Steve Thomson, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will speak at the ILA conference during Friday’s luncheon to show his support for the forest industry. “We know Minister Thomson understands how vital contractor sustainability is for the forest industry as a whole,” said Elstone. “And we appreciate his steadfast support for the industry.”