More than 150 employees will be down to a four-day week work at Tolko’s Soda Creek lumber mill in Williams Lake.
Tolko announced Wednesday morning that it is implementing a flexible operating footprint at its Soda Creek and Armstrong stud lumber mills.
This change will reduce the company’s operating stud capacity by 20%.
USW 1-2017 First Vice President Paul French called it scary times.
“Especially employees when really we have no control what’s going on or the why,” French told MyCaribooNow.
“They’re letting us know that it’s the high cost of logs as their main reason and they’re trying to reduce the capacity, so hopefully with Tolko here we can get job share instituted so the employees aren’t affected so much but really what’s scary for people is we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Tolko Vice President, Solid Wood, Troy Connolly said the decision is a result of high log costs in B.C. and weak market conditions.
“The continued and increasing pressures on log delivery costs in B.C. have eroded our competitiveness. This, in addition to continued weak markets, means we must take immediate and responsible action to ensure our long-term stability in B.C,” Connolly said in a news release.
“We are moving to a flexible operating footprint starting next week. We will continue to monitor our cost competitiveness regularly to determine if further downtime is required. Our top priority is sustaining the business and the many jobs and economic spinoffs it provides to our communities.”
(Editor’s Note: Listen to USW 1-2017 First Vice President Paul French with the author of this report in the audio file below)