Truckers protest outside Cape Breton paper mill
Wood trucking companies say Port Hawkesbury Paper isn't paying them a fair rate
More than a dozen pulp truckers are protesting outside Port Hawkesbury Paper this morning because they say the mill hasn't been giving them a fair price for their wood.
They're refusing to provide the paper mill with any more fibre.
Claude Bourgeois, president of the North Eastern Pulp Truckers Association, said at least 50 trucking companies have stopped delivering wood to the mill.
"You know we need so much money to break even and turn a small profit. They don't really seem to care. You know it's more like a dictatorship where they decide the rates and right now the rates are even worse because they just plug numbers in a computer and we don't even have a rate sheet where we know what we're gonna make before we even go. We sometimes only find out when we get our pay."
Bourgeois said truckers are fed up because they're receiving lower rates for their wood than last year.
He said the rate fluctuates and they often don't know what they are getting paid when they deliver the wood.
The association also said Port Hawkesbury Paper is refusing to negotiate with trucking associations and will only talk to individual truckers.
Bourgeois said they won't deliver wood until they get a better deal.
"Everybody's fed up because if they weren't they wouldn't be staying home. They only got three loads of wood on Monday morning and there was a bit of a misunderstanding by some of the trucks and they only got three yesterday. Everybody that's hauling as far down in Yarmouth way are staying home."
Bourgeois said if the protest continues the mill will run out of wood by early next week
He meet with managers at Port Hawkesbury Paper Wednesday morning, but there's no word yet on what, if anything has come from that meeting.