and starts. There are thousands
of able bodied people ready to do their part in this vital forest
work. It is up to management and unions and govern-ment to quit
the wasteful dialogue and get down to business.
....It is to be hoped that Bill Young,
who is now president of the Canadian forestry Association of B.C.,
can arouse a following that Victoria and Pottawa will listen to.
Bill should know what he is talking about when it comes to our forests’
needs. He served B.C. well as its chief forester.
....Again on the subject of trees,
I am confused, like I’m sure a good many others are, by the
recently released study of the Forintek group concerning our second
growth forests. They state that our next crop of trees, particularly
Douglas fir and hemlock, will average 25 percent less strength of
lumbedr than our prime forest trees and will be prone to longitudinal
shrinkage and warping.
....I guess what I’m really confused
about is the suddenness of the announ-cement and the headline news
it makes in our daily papers. The public have always been led to
believe that “Canadian Trees Are The Best In The World.”
....Something is wrong with the soup
here. It should be known by now to any well established forest oriented
group or association that if you want to scare people, just hand
the press a bomb like this release and watch the misinterpretations
fly. I’ve talked to several people who are quite upset by
this sudden news – coming on top of so many other problems
today in our industry.
....In a majority of cases it’s
time for some better and more intelligent public
relations on the part of our
industry and its consumer, the public. We have never been an industry
that really cared what the public felt or reacted to. It’s
time to change that habit real soon.
....There has been quite a hue and
cry about our industry’s increase in the amount of logs being
exported to Japan, China and Korea. Spurred on by the International
Woodworkers of America the demand was to “Stop exporting jobs
....That phrase translated into basic
English would read “Stop exporting logs from B.C. and shut
down still more logging camps.”
....Here again the lack of proper public
relations between the industry leaders and their public [which also
includes the workforce] is to a great degree at fault. Log export
has been sort of a hush-hush business in our industry for years.
Not that we shipped great quantities, but it seemed to be a very
grey area. Then when companies have their backs to the wall in this
recession, they find a bit of relief in log export prices. Remember
those same logs would not be used, nor would they be logged if it
weren’t for log export.
....Look – when times are tough,
you scrounge, pal. No company big or small is of any use to its
community or its employees if it doesn’t these days. But next
time let’s get people used to such possibilities. Let’s
talk about it before the fact!
....The news from the B.C. Federation
of Labor annual meeting should have given a lot of management people
in our industry a bit of cause for alarm. Jack Munro, the IWA president
for many years was defeated in his bid for the first vice-presidency
of the Federation. When what was recently
union in the province
finds itself at odds with its fel-low unions, it is time to worry
a bit. Not that anyone in man-agement can do anything about it.
But, it’s another reminder that the “old order sometimes
changeth,” and we are witnessing a whole raft of changes in
....The point in question – can
we stay on top of the changes and keep this industry in the forefront
of the economy of this province? To listen to other voices it would
appear that tourism or high tech industries should be number one.
These voices, of course, don’t realize the depth and scope
of our industry – its second-aries and its offshoots.
....Anyway, what matters now is that
the forest industry finds ways to meet the competition, keep its
mills modern and gets management and labor working together. In
a little over a year a new master agreement will be ready for negotiation
and nothing could help the atmosphere of that event better than
some constant dialogue at all levels of the management-labor scene.
....We’ll come out of this poor
time we are in simply because we are an area in this world that
is full of raw resources yet untouched and we have talented and
energetic people to handle those resources.
....Problems. There will always be
problems in this forest around us, and really that’s what
makes life interesting in this wide-scope industry. So look ahead.
But, of course -
Keep out of the bight,