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Temporary lay-off at Tolko impacts 60 in Williams Lake Feb. 19

The Lakeview mill will go from two shifts down to one 50-hour shift per week
A truck loaded with logs travels down Highway 20 past the Tolko Industries Ltd. Lakeview Division log yard during the second week in March 2023. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Tolko Industries will be temporarily laying off 60 workers at its Lakeview mill in Williams Lake beginning Feb. 19.

Media spokesperson Chris Downey said the mill will be reducing its shifts from two down to one 50-hour shift per week.

“We are hoping it’s temporary,” he said Friday.

Citing high costs of operations in B.C., he said the economic conditions are challenging.

The company also operates another mill in Williams Lake, its Soda Creek division.

For a comment from the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017, the Tribune has reached out to president Brian O’Rourke.

During the regular council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 30, Coun. Sheila Boehm, who is also president of the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA), drew council’s attention to the recent announcement that West Fraser will be closing its mill in Fraser Lake as there was a copy of the company’s news release in the council information package.

“I have reached out and talked to the mayor to see if the NCLGA can do anything,” she said.

Responding Coun. Scott Nelson said with that announcement, ” bells and whistles are going off across the province,” adding B.C. is one of the most expensive provinces to access fibre.

Mayor Surinderpal Rathor said the mayor’s office has been contacted by Tolko, West Fraser and Atlantic Power to appear as delegations at city hall.

READ MORE: Fraser Lake losing sawmill as West Fraser Timber cuts 175 jobs

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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