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

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

Just Posted

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation planning ground analysis of land near former residential school

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Free boxes of fresh produce are currently being provided in Quesnel by the Canadian Mental Health Association of Northern BC thanks to a donation from West Fraser Mills. (File photo)
Fresh produce available for those in need in Quesnel

Donation allows Canadian Mental Health Association to provide free fruits and veggies

Elizabeth Pete is a survivor of St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
WATCH: Kamloops bound convoy greeted by Canim Lake Band along Highway 97

Well over two dozen members of the Tsq’escenemc people (Canim Lake Band) showed up

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read