Tolko Industries Ltd. continues to cite high log costs and market prices for the reason it is going down to a three-day work week at its Soda Creek Mill in Williams Lake beginning next week. Monica Lamb-Yorski file photo

Tolko Soda Creek going to three-day work week

The curtailment is part of the announcement the company made in September at its stud lumber operations

Tolko’s Soda Creek mill in Williams Lake will be see a three-day work beginning in December, something the company said back in September it was planning for.

Read more: Tolko announces shift reduction at Soda Creek, Armstrong divisions

“The schedule is part of that flexible operating footprint of moving into something that would fluctuating between 100 per cent and 50 per cent at different points,” said Chris Downey, Tolko Industries Ltd. communications Monday. “It could change over time.”

Downey cited ongoing issue of high log costs and weak market conditions as the reasons for the need to curtail operations.

“It’s not really anything that has changed than from a few months ago.”

Frustrated the companies are citing log costs and market prices as the culprits the present downturn in the industry, United Steelworker Local 1-2017 first president Paul French said Monday he questioned how high prices have to get before things can start floating again.

“This whole high cost of logs was put in play by companies who are in the bidding war to grab fibre,” French said. “It was fine when they were going after private wood, but they used to have timber attached to their mill for the area of the town and when they sold it all came back to them.”

Is the workers who are losing the most, he added.

“Guys are losing trucks and have been out for a long time.”

The curtailment to three days at Soda Creek mill will begin next week and then be reviewed, he confirmed.

“If the review comes back that it’s not that bad then they will go up to four or they will remain at three. It’s going to be week by week.”

Earlier in November the company also announced it would be shutting down all locations over the two weeks of Christmas and on Monday Canfor Corporation announced most of its operations will also be curtailing over the same period, French said.

Back in September French said there were between 150 to 160 mill workers impacted by the curtailments and then the spin offs impacting loggers and truckers.

Read more: Canfor adds Christmas closure to B.C. forestry curtailments

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