Striking union to rally on-island next week

  • Sep. 5, 2007 2:00 p.m.

The United Steelworkers are planning a rally and barbecue in Port Clements next week to build solidarity as the forest workers’ strike continues into its second month. Rick Neuwirth, vice-president of local 1-2171, said the event will probably take place Monday or Tuesday. “We are planning a rally to solidify our forces over there,” he told the Observer this week from his Terrace office. “We want to have a rally for solidarity.” Mr. Neuwirth, who was just here last week, will return for the rally. He said Steelworkers local 2171 president Darrel Wong is also planning to attend, unless he’s at the negotiating table. Mr. Neuwirth hopes negotiations between the union and its employers start again soon, but there’s no sign they will. “There’s concerns on the islands, like everywhere, about the lack of talks going on,” he said. Mr. Neuwirth met informally with Haida Nation president Guujaaw and CHN staffers Bill Beldessi and Dale Lore while he was here. “It went pretty well, I believe,” he said. “We had a discussion on their vision of the TFL… If the CHN does take over Western Forest Products’ cut, they would just be another owner.”