PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Two of Canada’s largest pulp and paper unions say Canfor employees have ratified a new collective agreement it hopes will set the pattern for 18 contracts in British Columbia and Alberta.

Unifor and the Public and Private Workers of Canada say the four-year deal for 900 workers at Canfor will provide a $5,000 signing bonus plus wage increases of 2.5 per cent, 2.5 per cent, and three per cent in the following three years.

They say the deal also includes improvements to the temporary and indefinite curtailment language, and an improved benefits package, including an increase in the annual clinical psychologist benefit.

The agreement covers unionized employees at Unifor Locals 603 and 1133, and PPWC Local 9 in Prince George, B.C.

Scott Doherty, Unifor executive assistant to the president and lead forestry negotiator, says the agreement sets the standard for other forestry agreements at companies employing 5,500 workers across the western region.

The collective agreement comes as Canadian forestry companies are benefiting from high lumber prices.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2022.

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The Canadian Press