Skeena sawmill shuts down

West Fraser Timber has announced today the indefinite closure of its Skeena Sawmills in Terrace.

“This was a very difficult decision for the company to make, but unfortunately it has become necessary due to current market conditions,” explains Lou Poulin, General Manager of Skeena Sawmills.

“These conditions include low U.S. housing starts and the unprecedented and rapid rise in the value of the Canadian dollar.”

The company is uncertain as to the length of the shutdown and any start-up of the facility will be determined by market conditions.

The workers and the area had been expecting the mill to open again after the Steelworkers union voted over the weekend to end a 12-week strike.

The planer at the mill location will operate on a temporary basis starting October 29, 2007 for 6 weeks in order to process the existing inventory of rough lumber at the mill.

Skeena Sawmills employs approximately 80 hourly workers and 20 salaried staff members. Wherever possible, salaried staff will be re-assigned to other duties within the company.

Skeena Sawmills produces approximately 90 Million Board Feet of dimension lumber annually on a one shift basis.

The company has manufacturing operations in British Columbia, Alberta and the southern United States. West Fraser has approximately 9,000 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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