Trade Unions Confront Greenpeace on Job Destruction, Indifference

Trade unions representing workers across Quebec spoke out passionately about the economic damage and threats to jobs being caused by Greenpeace’s irresponsible attacks and unwillingness to engage with their communities.

In a group statement, saying they are “deeply distressed by the approach taken by Greenpeace,” the Confederation of National Trade Unions was represented at a press conference by the National Union of Pulp and Paper Workers of Alma, the Central Council of National Unions of Saguenay-Lac St-Jean, and the Manufacturing Industry Federation. Each of the unions denounced Greenpeace’s campaign that spreads misinformation about the boreal forest, and decried the group’s repeated indifference to appeals for dialogue with those communities that are being harmed.

In a public statement just weeks ago, Greenpeace admitted that the damage is real and ongoing. “We are troubled by the recent job losses…in the forest industry which affect workers and their families,” the group claimed. “We know that the men and women in the forest industry must be at the discussion table [and] we do want to talk to the…workers who know the conditions on the ground best.”

Those “workers who know the conditions on the ground best” are well aware that the boreal forest is in no way endangered, that Canada’s deforestation rate is virtually zero, and that less than 0.2% of the Canadian boreal is harvested each year – ten times less than what is disturbed annually by natural causes such as forest fires and disease. Those workers could also demonstrate that Resolute is a responsible forest manager, operating along with other Canadian forest products companies in a highly regulated environment and adhering to internationally recognized forest management and chain of custody standards.

Forestry workers are not defending their livelihoods at the expense of the environment – after all, wood is a renewable resource, and the long-term future of our communities depends on the sustainability of the forest. But these facts do not fit into Greenpeace’s misleading narrative.
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