In the evening of January 20, 2012 a massive explosion and fire destroyed the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake, a remote community of about 3,600 people in northern BC.
The fire, the worst industrial accident in BC in a generation, killed two workers and injured another nineteen. The destruction of the mill also put 250 members of the United Steelworkers out of work and will have a devastating effect on the entire town’s economy, thanks to the many spin-off jobs created by the local forestry industry.
On January 27th the United Steelworkers announced the launch of a fundraising appeal and the creation of a trust account to provide support to the workers of Babine Forest Products and their families. The labour movement in quickly responded and USW was inundated with offers of support and assistance from other unions and union members across the country.
To date, the BC Federation of Labour as well as many unions and businesses have made donations, both of money and time.
All PSAC Locals in BC are encouraged to support our sisters and brothers in Burns Lake. Donations to the fund can be made two ways.
- Online (via paypal) at www.bcfed.ca
- Or cheques made payable to USW Burns Lake Fund can be dropped off at any Community Savings Credit Union in the Lower Mainland, or by mail to
United Steelworkers District 3 Office
#300-3920 Norland Avenue
Burnaby BC V5G4K7.
- Please let us know - email firstname.lastname@example.org - if your Local has made a donation. The BC region will be seeking matching donations from the PSAC Social Justice Fund.
PSAC has a proud history of standing up and providing assistance and relief when disaster strikes, of standing up for the safety of all workplaces, and of standing together in difficult times.
By donating to the fund, PSAC Locals in BC will send message to the people of Burns Lake and the members of USW and their families: we stand in Solidarity with you.
In Solidarity, Bob Jackson, REVP BC