(files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)
The 4-day workweek at Canfor’s Plateau Mill in Vanderhoof, ongoing since Summer 2019, is continuing according to a memo posted to staff on Friday.
Last week, it was announced that the curtailments would be lifted by March 13, and the regular 5 day work weeks would resume, but that was retracted.
“This past week we have seen a dramatic decline in world markets. We believe this to be a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), as well as blockades impacting CN deliveries.” said Plant Manager Hans Pederson, in the staff memo.
Despite Canfor commodity pricing seeing a slight increase, the futures market took a dive from $460/board foot (MFBM) to $410/MFBM, resulting in the decision to continue the reduced workweek.
“We had hoped to return to a full-time schedule at Canfor’s Plateau sawmill, but due to the dynamic environment we are operating in, there are several factors outside of our control which are impacting our business, companies worldwide and the global economy,” said Spokesperson Michelle Ward.
The memo states Plateau will be returning to the reduced week beginning March 16, and regular production will run across the site on March 13th, however, subsequent Fridays will be “market dependent until further notice.”
Pederson explained the change is expected to only impact production activities, and log hauling, kilns and energy, and associated departments will remain unchanged.
However, maintenance activities are slated to return to normal, subject to change on March 9th due to a staff shortage.
“We will endeavor to give as much advance notice as possible regarding any changes, however, due to the volatility in the market, we may not be able to commit to a two weeks’ notice period that we have tried to do during the course of the curtailment to date,” added Pederson.