The forest products industry and Unifor are pledging to work together towards a prosperous forest products industry that both creates and maintains jobs and economic prosperity while ensuring sustainable forest management.
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) participated in the Unifor-sponsored Good Jobs Summit to talk about the positive future of the forest sector and the potential to see an additional 60,000 new green jobs in rural Canada.
As part of its goal of advocating for the economic well-being of working people, Unifor is interested in the type of secure, well paying, high technology jobs now on offer in the Canadian forest industry. The union has also endorsed the forest industry's Vision2020 with its goals of solid employment, environmental performance, and economic growth through value-added production and new markets.
"Unifor is committed to working with industry and government to build good, green jobs. We share the aspirations of Vision2020 which is aimed at a revitalized economy with job creation, further environmental progress and value-added resource development," says, Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
"Forest product companies and unions might not always see eye to eye," says the president and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "However be it worker or manager, we can agree on the need to promote the impressive environmental credentials of the Canadian forest products industry and the "green" jobs on offer in Canada's renewable resource sector."
Canada's forest products industry has among the best environmental records in the world. For example, Canada has about 150 million hectares of forests certified as sustainably managed – far more than any other country. And, as witnessed by the Vision2020 environmental performance goal, the industry is prepared to go further with the goal of achieving an additional 35 per cent reduction in our environmental footprint by 2020.
Both Dias and Lindsay agree that this progressive environmental stewardship will ensure the viability of the forest sector as a source of good jobs for future generation, a key theme in the Good Jobs Summit.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.