Skip to main content

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains, seen above, says Amanda Rogers and Vince Ready have been appointed by the government as special mediators in the strike by the United Steelworkers against Western Forest Products.CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

The B.C. government has asked two mediators to try again to help find a resolution in the coastal forestry dispute, just days after they withdrew their services over a deadlock.

Labour Minister Harry Bains said on Thursday that Amanda Rogers and Vince Ready have been appointed by the government as special mediators in the strike by the United Steelworkers against Western Forest Products.

Ms. Rogers and Mr. Ready pulled out on Tuesday saying the two sides were too far apart, but Mr. Bains said they’ll now have additional powers under the labour code to reach a settlement.

The government said in a news release that if the parties can’t reach agreement after more collective bargaining, the mediators will provide recommended terms for settlement.

Each side will have five days to accept or reject the proposal and the Minister of Labour can make the terms of the settlement public.

About 3,000 workers and contractors have been off the job since last July and Mr. Bains says the dispute has taken a huge toll on the entire coastal forestry community.

“I am confident that with the assistance of two of the nation’s top mediators, and the additional powers provided to them under the Labour Relations Code by this appointment, both sides can achieve a deal that ensures the sustainability of coastal forestry jobs and supports the terms and conditions of employment important to workers.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.