The United Steelworkers (USW) union today called for greater support for American lumber workers in response to a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) demonstrating how wood is illegally harvested abroad and sold in the United States.
The troubling EIA report highlighted the extent and complexity of the illegal timber trade, showing how wood is being illegally harvested in Russia, shipped into China for manufacture into hardwood flooring and then imported into the United States.
“This report makes it very clear that stronger enforcement of trade and environmental law is essential to the survival of American lumber workers and their employers,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The illegal practices highlighted in this report undercut the U.S. economy and destroy good-paying American jobs. We must demand that our leaders put a stop to it.”
The USW is the largest North American union representing workers in the pulp, paper and forest products sector.
“Hard-working Americans like the USW members at the Armstrong Hardwood flooring plant in Oneida, Tenn., can compete at home and abroad when they are given a level playing field,” said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, who oversees the sector for the USW. “That’s why we support legislation like the Lacey Act and all efforts to end illegal logging.”