The social and economic effects of the transition from a system of woods camps to a system of commuting in the Newfoundland pulpwood industry

Peters, Robert David (1965) The social and economic effects of the transition from a system of woods camps to a system of commuting in the Newfoundland pulpwood industry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study is an attempt to determine the impact of a technological change within the Newfoundland pulp and paper industry. This change is affecting the industry, the labour force, communities, and the province in general. -- The position of the forest industries in the economy of Newfoundland is briefly outlined, with emphasis on the pulpwood producing sector. The organization and physical methods of operation are also described, including living conditions in woods camps. The employment and earnings of the logging force in Newfoundland are compared to those of mill workers, as well as to those of their counterparts elsewhere in Canada. The social and economic effects of commuting upon the loggers are then explained. The economic advantages and disadvantages to the paper companies are outlined, as well as effects upon the remainder of the province. Some of the material for this study has been gleaned from published and unpublished sources, but the major part was obtained from personal interviews and a mail questionnaire to a sample of the loggers. -- The most important findings of this thesis are -- (1) although the forest industries are still the most important of the resource industries, they are declining in relative importance; -- (2) the number of workers employed in logging continues to decline with increased mechanization and higher productivity per worker; -- (3) although wage rates of loggers in Newfoundland compare favourably with those of loggers elsewhere in Eastern Canada, annual earnings are relatively low because of the brief period of employment; -- (4) living conditions in company camps are generally satisfactory; -- (5) mechanization is part of a program to achieve year- round logging: this will benefit the industry and the loggers that remain employed, but mechanization is already creating unemployment; -- (6) commuting is generally advantageous to the companies, especially in reducing the cost of wood; -- (7) commuting has had some serious economic and social effects upon some loggers, but it has aided others. It has caused some regional unemployment, and tends to shorten the average period of employment; -- (8) working conditions under commuting have ranged from extremely bad to favourable. Shacking, while extended by commuting, is most likely a temporary phenomenon; -- (9) unless the pulpwood industry expands, centralization is not likely to be a solution to the employment problems of the loggers now living in outlying areas; -- (10) while the loggers who were contacted indicated a strong preference for camps, there are indications that in the future loggers will prefer commuting; -- (11) despite the short run disadvantages, commuting should tend to make the industry more efficient; consequently the whole province will benefit.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7140
Item ID: 7140
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [208]-210.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Economics
Date: 1965
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Lumber camps--Newfoundland and Labrador; Lumbering--Newfoundland and Labrador; Wood-pulp industry--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador--Economic conditions;

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