MONTREAL — The union that represents 15,000 forest industry workers in eastern Canada has selected Resolute Forest Products to set the pattern for new collective agreements.

The decision was made by about 200 delegates to a union meeting in Montreal last week.

Unifor says it will now sit down with Resolute to discuss monetary issues including wages, benefits, and pension plans.  

The union also plans to negotiate collective agreement language, such as provisions for workplace racial justice advocates and women’s advocates.

Once an agreement is reached, it will serve as a template for bargaining with all other employers including paper mills, sawmills and forestry operations. 

Renaud Gagne

Unifor spokesperson Renaud Gagné said “The mandate given to us by the delegates could not be clearer: salary catch-up and salary increases will be our priorities.”

Gagné added that “The forest industry, like many others, must use all the necessary means to counter the labour shortage we are facing.”