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West Fraser announces curtailment, job losses in Williams Lake, Fraser Lake, Quesnel

The company has amended its B.C. operating plan
West Fraser has amended its B.C. operating plan, resulting in the elimination of one shift at Fraser Lake Sawmill, Williams Lake Lumber, and Quesnel Plywood. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo — Williams Lake Tribune)

West Fraser will cut 147 positions across Williams Lake, Fraser Lake and Quesnel after amending its B.C. operating plan.

The company announced Tuesday, Aug. 9 it will be permanently curtailing approximately 170 million board feet of combined production at its Fraser Lake and Williams Lake sawmills, and approximately 85 million square feet of plywood production at its Quesnel Plywood mill.

“The curtailments will be realized through the elimination of one shift at each facility,” reads the release.

Access to available timber is an increasing challenge in British Columbia and ongoing transportation constraints have impaired the company’s ability to reliably access markets, the release continued.

“These capacity reductions are necessary to better align West Fraser’s operating capacity with available timber and transport availability.”

The reduction in capacity will occur over the fourth quarter of 2022. It is expected to affect 77 positions at Fraser Lake Sawmill, 15 positions at Williams Lake Lumber, and 55 positions at Quesnel Plywood.

West Fraser said it expects to mitigate the impact on affected employees by providing work opportunities at other West Fraser operations.

Read More: West Fraser temporarily adopts three day work week at B.C. lumber mills

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