Fundraiser planned for Franklin River loggers

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Local-185 to help pay for the loggers’ medical benefits that run out at the end of June.

A fundraiser in support of the Franklin Division loggers who have been out of work since Dec. 22, 2015 is happening at the Blue Marlin Inn on Thursday, June 30.

More than 100 loggers are out of work due to a rate dispute between Western Forest Products and their woodlands contractor, Island Pacific Logging.

After six months of being laid off the loggers will no longer be covered with medical benefits, Norm MacLeod, United Steelworkers 1-85 president said. Thus a fundraiser was planned in conjunction with Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan and former mayor Ken McRae.

“Mayor Mike Ruttan called me and Ken McRae… and said what can we do to help, so we started talking about a fundraising effort and they got the Blue Marlin involved,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod said Ruttan has shown empathy for the unemployed loggers and has been quite involved in trying to get them back to work.

The fundraiser is from 4–8 p.m. in the Blue Marlin Inn parking lot. Festivities will include kids’ activities, a celebrity dunk tank, barbecue pork dinner for $15, or a hotdog and pop for $5. There will also be music from Loggers’ Stomp with the Maloomba Boogie Band from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $15. Silent and loonie twoonie auctions will also be available.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Local-185 to help pay for the unemployed loggers’ medical benefits that run out at the end of June. “When you’re laid off, after six months [benefits] stop.”

Western Forest Products and the Franklin River crew are still in mediation and discussions to when loggers will be back at work are still going back and forth. There has yet to be a court proceeding.

MacLeod said members of the crew are still struggling financially and some have decided to leave town to work in camps in order to make ends meet.

“They’d much rather be at home, that’s the lifestyle they lived. Even if they are working they’re not exceptionally happy except there’s money coming in. They’d rather be at home with their families,” MacLeod said.

While some loggers search for work elsewhere, several remain in the Valley living off their savings.

“They didn’t save their money for this, it’s savings for retirement and other things,” MacLeod said.

 

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Port Alberni’s ‘Army of Problem Solvers’ to the rescue

Facebook group gathers people who just want to help their neighbours

Hurricane Katrina inspires Alberni author’s new novel

Jacqueline Swann brings message of climate change to life with story of fictional journalist

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing teenage girl

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home on May 9

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read