HALIFAX, Aug. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Unifor National President Jerry Dias spoke with reporters Wednesday morning to outline the harsh economic impact on Nova Scotia if the Northern Pulp mill closes.
"We all know Boat Harbour must close. Our job now is to find a way forward that accomplishes that and supports not just the 230 Unifor jobs at Northern Pulp, but the 2,700 full-time jobs in Nova Scotia that rely on that mill," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "The reality is, good-paying jobs in rural Nova Scotia aren't easy to come by and this study outlines just how much the province stands to lose if we let the mill close."
The study was commissioned by Unifor and completed by Halifax-based firm Gardner Pinfold.
"The closure of Northern Pulp would cause economic hardship for hundreds of families in rural Nova Scotia. An investment exceeding a billion dollars would likely be required to replace the economic impact of the mill," said Bob Fraser, President, Gardner Pinfold.
Among the key findings of the study was that Northern Pulp is a key player in rural Nova Scotia, creating a significant number of well-paying jobs in typically high-unemployment areas. A staggering 1,379 companies support the mill operation, a good number of which would be adversely affected, severely threatened or suffer immediate closure themselves should operations at Northern Pulp cease, even temporarily.
"We believe Nova Scotians deserve to have a good picture of what is at stake as we move closer to the date of closure in the Boat Harbour Act," said Scott Doherty, Unifor Executive Assistant to the President. "In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars of lost tax revenue and economic activity in the province, hundreds of independent contractors and small businesses are at stake, affecting thousands of families. This isn't just one business it's a vital hub in a cross-province network."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 23,000 in the forestry sector. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.