Striking forestry workers are trying to make the most of their time on the picket lines.
So they are selling homemade wreaths, to make some extra money for their families and others in the community.
“A couple of guys got together on the line, and we’re making the wreaths and swag for some extra Christmas money,” said Jay Perrin, who works at Olympic Forest Products Ltd.
All proceeds from tomorrow’s sales will go to the Powell River Food Bank.
Perrin said the workers have sold “quite a few” wreaths.
Talks were supposed to resume today between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers union.
But in an update, USW Local 1- 1937 said that due to personal reasons, the mediators were not able to take part.
Both sides are hoping to reschedule for this weekend but dates will be based on mediators’ availability.
Forestry workers have been on strike since July 1.
The job action affects all the company’s USW certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in B.C.
The job action is impacting roughly 1,500 of the company’s hourly employees and 1,500 employees working for its timberland operations and contractors.
Perrin, who has a wife and two sons, ages eight and five, is one of the workers impacted.
He said it’s been a “pretty tough” five-and-a-half months.
“It’s a hard one when you’re fighting for these kind of things,” Perrin said. “They (the company) were trying to take away part of our pension plan and try to dismantle part of the long-term disability plan… there’s lots of little things they are doing, there.”
As the strike drags on, Perrin said workers have been struggling to make ends meet.
“You’ve got to get out there and try do as much as (you) can to make extra money, and this (making wreaths) is just one of the things we could do,” Perrin said.
He said the Loonies for Loggers dropped off food donations.
“So everybody got a couple big bags of groceries and stuff like that,” Perrin said.
“And you don’t want your children to suffer, either, right? Both my boys are in a jiu-jitsu course, here and swimming and tap and everything. It’s tough. All those extra-curricular activities that you usually have these extra funds and stuff to pay for, all of a sudden, you don’t. You’ve still got to try to get by, somehow. It’s been really tough. It’s been a really long haul.”