A West Fraser operation in Northern B.C. Black Press files

UPDATE: West Fraser to cut production over holidays at 4 B.C. sawmills

The temporary move affects operations in Chasm, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chetwynd

UPDATE:

West Fraser’s vice president of Canadian Wood Products Brian Balkwill said the production curtailments announced today for operations in Chasm, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chetwynd will last eight days.

Balkwill said Chasm, 100 Mile and Chetwynd operations will stop production after the last shift on Dec. 14, 2018, and resume on Jan. 2, 2019. The Williams Lake Mill will shut down between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Balkwill said he’s not able to provide a number of employees the curtailments will affect, as some of the operations will still be running.

“We will continue to have log deliveries, operator kilns and ship lumber,” explained Balkwill. “It’s not a permanent closure, it’s a market curtailment for a temporary basis,” he stressed, saying poor lumber prices and high log costs are to blame.

Balkwill said the decision to shut down over the holidays was made in order to have the least amount of impact on employees.

“Many of our employees are always looking for Christmas holidays, so we thought, maybe this is the time to take it, to have the least impact to them. This way we are hoping it will be less impact to the majority of the people. We won’t be paying them, but many will elect to take holidays. That will be the employee’s choice.”

Balkwill indicated that if an employee has vacation time left as part of their benefits package and they choose to use it during the curtailment, they will be paid for the vacation days.

As for the future, Balkwill said he hopes the company will not have to make similar curtailments going forward. “We are going to continue to monitor the market like we do weekly now and see what happens. I’m not able to make a guarantee that it won’t happen again, but we are hoping it won’t.”

ORIGINAL:

West Fraser Mills has announced today (Nov. 30) it will temporarily curtail production a four B.C. sawmills over the holiday season.

Operations in Chasm, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Chetwynd will be affected. West Fraser CEO Ted Seraphim cited “challenging lumber markets and high log costs coupled with log supply constraints” for the decision.

Spruce, pine and fir (SPF) lumber production will be reduced by approximately 25 million board feet, according to West Fraser’s news release.

The release does not indicate when the production cuts will begin and end, or how many employees are affected.

The news comes after West Fraser announced mid-November that it is permanently reducing production at its Quesnel and Fraser Lake sawmills, affecting a total of 135 employees.

READ MORE: West Fraser to permanently reduce production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The Observer has contacted West Fraser and is awaiting a response.

More to come.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bailey’s celebrating 100 years of farming in B.C.

Vanderhoof farm received the Century Farm Award awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Alice in Wonderland Jr. coming to Vanderhoof this March

W.L. McLeod Elementary presents its 12th production

Mainly sunny Saturday, but cloudy weather in the forecast

Environment Canada weather report for the week of Feb. 24

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Vanderhoof wrestler wins gold in provincials

Rayen Rempel won gold in the 41-kg category at the BC Wrestling Provincials held in Langley.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Most Read