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Kenora sawmill adds new planer shift

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After resuming rough lumber production in early February, Kenora Forest Products (KFP) continues to expand finishing operations with the start of the first shift in its new planer mill today.

“There are now almost 70 Unifor members working at the mill,” noted Unifor national representative Stephen Boon.

“And the workforce will continue to grow to about 110 unionized employees over the summer as the mill transitions to full production with another sawmill and planer shift,” he added.

As part of the 2014 re-start negotiations, Unifor and KFP formally committed to ensuring local aboriginal members shared in the economic benefits and good-paying jobs associated with a re-opened sawmill in Kenora.

“We are very pleased that as of a result of very effective recruitment, over 50 percent of the mill’s current workforce is now comprised of local Métis and First Nation members, with dozens more employed in related log harvesting operations,” Boon said.

KFP also will become one of the highest-paying sawmills in eastern Canada.

Top trades’ wages will increase by up to 58.5 percent—to $41.79/hr.—by the final year the current six-year contract that expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

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