MIL-OSI USA: Machinists Join Fight to Protect Washington State Forestry Jobs

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Source: US GOIAM Union

The Machinists Union is part of a strong push to protect good union forestry jobs that sustain many rural Washington state communities.

The IAM and the Washington State Council of Machinists are fighting against an ill-advised attempt to restrict the sale of timber from public lands in Washington state by challenging decades-long interpretation and application of the state constitution. Current regulations, agreed to by industry, environmental and labor groups, already place strict and necessary environmental protections on timber harvesting on public land.

“Our membership in the wood, pulp and paper industry proudly advocates for both good jobs and sustainable environmental policies,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “We stand on the right side of history by fighting for an economy and an environment that will benefit our grandchildren and generations to come.”

A lawsuit by opposition groups has already been thrown out in superior court, but is now being appealed.

“IAM members and countless communities in Washington state rely on forestry regulations that benefit the collective wellbeing of the entire state, not just a select few,” said Mike Rose, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President for the Woodworkers Department. “We will use every resource necessary to protect the right of our members and their communities to continue to be responsible stewards of public lands in Washington state.”

The IAM represents approximately 2,000 members in the wood, pulp and paper industry in Washington state.

“Generations of IAM members and countless others have worked to make forestry jobs good, family-sustaining and community-supporting careers,” said IAM District W24 President and Directing Business Representative Wayne Thompson. “We must continue to grow this industry, not tear down what we have built in the name of ideology.”

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