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

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

Just Posted

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. (Kitimat RCMP photo)
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Smithers Secondary School students participate in a high performance workout in advance of the school becoming a campus of the Canadian Sport School. (Thom Barker photo)
Smithers Secondary chosen for campus of elite sport school

The Canadian Sport School provides supports and resources for high performance athletes

Robin Price in action with Thompson Rivers University women’s soccer team. (TRU photo)
Former Smithers athlete helps Kamloops homeless people

Robin Price, now a fourth year nursing student and soccer player at TRU, spearheads fundraiser

Tahltan underground miners at Brucejack Mine are seen in this video uploaded by the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) Sept. 21, 2020. (TCG Facebook video image)
Memorandum of understanding increases opportunities for Tahltan trade apprenticeships

Tahltan Central Government and provincial Industry Training Authority ink agreement

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

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

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read