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NORTHWEST TIMBER WORKERS REACH OUT TO HOOSIERS TO EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT REP. JIM JONTZ

 NORTHWEST TIMBER WORKERS REACH OUT TO HOOSIERS
 TO EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT REP. JIM JONTZ
 INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Saying that Rep. Jim Jontz's (D-Ind.) environmental extremism threatens the jobs of tens of thousands of forest products workers throughout the nation, forest workers from the Pacific Northwest travelled to Indiana this week to urge working men and women in Indiana's 5th district to oppose Jontz's re-election bid.
 Representatives from the Western Council of Industrial Workers (WCIW); the International Woodworkers of America U.S. (IWA, U.S.); the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU); and the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) are in Indiana to talk with 5th district voters and tell them that Jontz's repeated attempts to stop timber harvests on federal forests will cost tens of thousands of forest products jobs in the Pacific Northwest, northern California and throughout the nation. Jontz has served as a frontman in Congress for protectionist organizations trying to stop timber harvests on public lands.
 "We are here to talk about the Jim Jontz we have come to know as a result of his several trips to our region," said Mike Pieti of the WCIW. "Working men and women in Indiana's 5th district need to know that a vote for Jim Jontz could mean a pink slip for tens of thousands of forest products workers in the Pacific Northwest."
 "Congressman Jontz has led the fight in Congress to destroy forest products workers," continued Pieti. "He has sponsored some of the most restrictive federal forest management legislation introduced in Congress, including a bill that would have cost an estimated 110,000 jobs. He even attempted to sabotage a bill that would allow our workers to harvest dead and dying timber from our national forests to protect forest health, prevent wildfires and free some timber for production. Congressman Jontz is on the most extreme end of the forest management debate."
 "The congressman claims to be the savior of our national forests," Pieti added. "But his extreme proposals to prevent all timber harvests will drastically reduce the supply of timber available for production. Less timber harvested means less timber for Northwest mills. Less timber for Northwest mills means fewer jobs for our workers. Fewer jobs for our workers means higher unemployment, the disruption of timber families and the destruction of hundreds of timber communities in our region."
 IWA, U.S. Representative George Miller said that Jontz's proposals will only exacerbate the job loss and economic devastation currently afflicting the Pacific Northwest and northern California due to efforts to stop timber harvests to protect the spotted owl. He noted that 25 mills already have been forced to shut down and approximately 15,000 jobs have been lost in the region this year alone.
 "Our members are the stewards of the forests -- we well understand the importance of protecting our forests and wildlife," said Miller. "But we also need to protect our families and our communities. We have long supported a balanced solution to this conflict that will protect jobs and wildlife. Congressman Jontz doesn't believe in balance. He wants to destroy our way of life, a livelihood that has been passed down from generation to generation."
 Pieti recognized that Jontz has traditionally been a friend of organized labor in Indiana.
 "We understand from talking to our brothers and sisters here in Indiana that Congressman Jontz has long supported them and has taken a stand for their causes," Pieti commented. "But this is not the Jim Jontz we know. His evil twin appears when the congressman visits the Northwest. He's an entirely different man with a different agenda that could destroy our way of life.
 "We appreciate Congressman Jontz's support of working people. But the labor issues he has backed won't mean much to our members when they're on the unemployment line," Pieti added.
 WCIW member Darryl Middleton noted that Jontz's position on federal forest management issues is out of step with the position taken by Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton.
 "Northwest forest workers have met with both Governor Clinton and Congressman Jontz to discuss the timber supply issue," said Middleton. "I was lucky enough to meet with the governor. He was sensitive to our concerns, Jontz was not. Governor Clinton proposed to convene, if elected, a Northwest timber summit with the Northwest congressional delegation and governors of the affected states to resolve the crisis. In advancing this proposal, he wisely warned us against making false choices between jobs and the environment."
 "Congressman Jontz is advocating this false choice -- the wrong choice," said Jim Zauner of the AWPPW. "He has decided to side with his preservationist friends who fund his campaign and choose owls over people. Congressman Jontz is no Bill Clinton.
 "No one should tell anyone else how to vote," said Bill Osburn of the UPIU. "But while Congressman Jontz has the power to destroy our livelihoods, we lack the ability to fight back through the ballot box. It therefore is essential that we bring the truth about Congressman Jontz to the working men and women in his district."
 "The fact is," he added, "Jontz's efforts to reduce timber harvests in the Northwest will affect the thousands of timber- dependent jobs in Indiana. The lack of timber supply also will increase the price of paper and wood products we use everyday as well as the price of housing construction. The National Association of Home Builders has indicated that increased wood products prices have added $3,000-$5,000 to the cost of an average single family home, pricing many first time buyers out of the market."
 "All we want to do," added Pieti, "is speak to our brothers and sisters in Indiana face-to-face. We believe once they understand the threat Jontz poses to our families and communities, and potentially poses to their own families, they will make the right decision on his re-election. Our livelihoods will depend on that decision."
 The forest products workers are visiting Indiana as part of Forest Families in the Balance, an independent "political committee" not affiliated with any other campaign committee, organization, party or candidate. Its statement of organization was filed with the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 17, 1992. It is headquartered in Matthews, Ind. Cathy Parks, wife of an Indiana carpenter, serves as treasurer.
 -0- 10/28/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Joseph, 317-459-8001 (until today) or 202-452-9431, or Robin Shapiro, 317-459-8001 (until today) or 202-452-9462, both for the Forest Families in the Balance/ CO: Forest Families in the Balance ST: Indiana IN: PAP SU:


DC -- DC009 -- 5977 10/28/92 12:11 EST
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Date:Oct 28, 1992
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