Canfor announces Canal Flats layoffs

Employees may be moved to Elko mill following a layoff of 81 employees at the Canfor Canal Flatts sawmill.

Canfor’s Canal Flats sawmill will be permanently laying off 81 employees as it downsizes from two shifts to one.

The layoff is credited to a lack of economically available fiber, and will go into effect May 4.

“This is devastating news for our members, their families, Canal Flats, surrounding communities and the local union,” said Doug Singer, President of United Steelworkers Local 1-405 in Cranbrook through a release.

Singer noted that the significant layoff, which slashed the mill’s employee numbers by more than half, was not temporary and that Canfor and USW 1-405 had set up a Transition Office at the Canal Flats operation to deal with severance, transfers, pension impacts and moving costs.

The company expects many of those transfers to be to nearby mills in Elko and Radium.

Corinne Stavness, Director of Public Affairs for Canfor, said that, “We will be offering all the employees transfers to other divisions and we will be putting a priority on the local mills as it’s the least disruptive to people to move within the region as opposed to our other mills, which are located across the province … so we do hopefully expect those positions to be filled. However, at this point it’s too early to say, as the Canal Flats mill is currently still operating.”

Stavness said that the company needs employees to first express interest in transferring and they are currently holding off on hiring for available positions at the local mills until they can evaluate employee transfer numbers.

“We hope to keep every single one of our employees, regionally, or if they move. We’re hiring across our company so we sincerely hope we can keep everyone, though we understand it can be tricky,” concluded Stavness.

Singer echoed this statement and said that he, Vice President Doug Wood and Financial Secretary/Business Agent Jeff Bromley would “do everything we can to reduce the impact from this permanent reduction to our members, their families and communities.”

 

Just Posted

The Free Press editor wins awards

Editor Phil McLachlan has been recognized at the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

UPDATE: New lead narrows the search for Serval cat

UPDATE, July 17: A new lead has narrowed the search for Aquila… Continue reading

East Kootenay Open this weekend

Fernie tennis players are warming up for the biggest tournament east of the Okanagan.

Community spirit shines at centennial

Hundreds have helped mark Fernie Golf Club’s 100th anniversary

SAR rescues injured dog after fall

A rope technician was able to reach the dog after being lowered nearly 90 metres down the cliffs.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

Most Read