Forest companies in British Columbia’s coastal region are to hold further talks with union bosses after rejecting the union’s latest contract offer.

Forest Industrial Relations (FIR), which represents 61 employers, said the proposal by the Industrial, Allied and Woodworkers Union (IWA) involved wage and severance package increases of C$170m at a time when soaring costs needed to be reduced.

The IWA, which staged a one-day walkout while FIR members were voting on its contract offer, said the invitation to re-start talks was “good news”.