High log costs and weak lumber prices have led Tolko Industries Ltd. to close its Soda Creek mill in Williams Lake during the weeks of May 27 and June 3, 2019, said one of the company’s vice-presidents Thursday.
“While we prefer to remain operational, we must manage the business responsibly and ensure we are sustainable for the long run,” said Troy Connolly, vice-president of solid wood.
Connolly said employees were informed of the decision earlier today and local HR representatives are available to assist them with any questions they may have.
“We do not make these decisions lightly,” Connolly added. “We know we have great people working at these operations and this is in no way a reflection on them or their commitment. However, industry conditions in B.C. are challenging right now and could be for some time.”
Paul French, first vice-president of United Steelworkers Union Local 2-2017, said he was notified of the shutdown by telephone on Thursday as well.
A communications advisor for Tolko said approximately 178 jobs will be impacted in Williams Lake and in Armstrong, where Tolko’s operations will be shut down during the same two weeks, approximately 150 jobs will be impacted.
This latest announcement follows one on May 10, when Tolko confirmed it would be closing its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel on Aug. 2 and implementing a reduction from two shifts down to one at its Kelowna sawmill.