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STATEMENT BY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF WESTERN COUNCIL OF INDUSTRIAL WORKERS, REGARDING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S NORTHWEST FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN

 WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Mike Draper, executive secretary of the Western Council of Industrial Workers, regarding President Clinton's announced Northwest Forest Management Plan:
 Good afternoon. I am Mike Draper, executive secretary of the Western Council of Industrial Workers, based in Portland, Ore. The Western Council -- for the moment-- represents 30,000 working men and women in the forest products industry throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
 We are here today to express our firm opposition to President Clinton's plan to resolve the forest management/spotted owl/timber job controversy in the Pacific Northwest. This "indecent proposal," the so- called "Option 9," will reduce harvest levels on federal forests in our region by 80 percent, throwing approximately 85,000 people in our region into the unemployment line.
 Last fall, candidate Clinton came to Eugene, Ore., to meet with timber workers in the backyard of Max Grosbeck, a timber worker himself. At that meeting, Mr. Clinton promised us that, if elected, he would protect our jobs, our families and our communities by crafting a solution to this crisis that would balance environmental concerns with economic realities.
 Candidate Clinton looked us straight in the eye and said, "I hear your concerns. I will resolve this in a fair and balanced way." Today, President Clinton blinked.
 By adopting Option 9, the president has abandoned us.
 Candidate Clinton promised the nation that he would re-tool our economic engine. He pledged to create and protect jobs to help the economy and working people. He campaigned on the theme "People First."
 Today, President Clinton forgot these promises. Where he once said, "People First," the president now seems to say, "People First, but only when it is easy and expedient."
 President Clinton has thrown sand in the nation's economic engine by adopting Option 9. Not only is he putting tens of thousands of forest products-related workers into the unemployment line, he is increasing lumber prices -- preventing more Americans from purchasing a new home. He is threatening timber-related jobs throughout the nation and is destroying the economic base of an entire region. He is cutting off at the knees one of the most productive, efficient and vital American industries, leaving stranded thousands of workers and our families.
 This decision clearly indicates a surrender to political activists in Washington. For now, the president has abandoned the core principles he campaigned on, namely standing up for working people and protecting and creating good jobs.
 My members and I campaigned extremely hard for Bill Clinton's election. But we have been frustrated by political extremists who seem to have this president's ear and whose environmental "vision" includes unemployment among the working families I represent.
 The administration thinks it can provide us a panacea through the community support and worker retraining package introduced today. But here, too, the president has abandoned us.
 So we pledge today to create a great roar of protest rising from working people throughout the nation. Knowing that if that clamor quiets, it will fade into a deathly silence -- the silence of abandoned factories, devastated communities and empty homes.
 We now call on Congress for our security. We will work with Speaker Foley and the Northwest delegation to develop a truly balanced solution that protects the forests of God and the families of man.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Robin Shapiro for the Western Council of Industrial Workers, 202-452-9468/


CO: Western Council of Industrial Workers ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU: EXE

KD-MH -- DC038 -- 7873 07/01/93 15:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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