Canfor is finishing this December just as it did one year ago — its mill here is going through an extended Christmas closure, this time shutting down from Dec. 23 and until Jan. 3.
Although 10 weekdays in length, the period covers the statutory holidays of Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, reducing the actual closure days to seven.
And, notes Canfor official Michelle Ward, employees will be paid for the statutory holidays.
As well, there will be a boost for employees who signed up for the federal employment insurance program in which they collect employment insurance benefits for the one day a week, Friday, the mill is closed already.
“Those benefits will be available during the downtime we announced [Nov. 25],” said Ward.
This latest closure announcement takes in all of Canfor’s B.C. mills except for its specialty wood product WynnWood operation located in the Creston Valley in the Kootenays. That operation will be closed for just five days.
As with past closures, Canfor says a continuing high cost of wood and weak markets are making its B.C. mills uneconomical.
“We deeply regret that our employees have been impacted by multiple curtailments in 2019, we know it has been a difficult year for our employees, contractors, their families and the local communities,” said Stephen Mackie Canfor’s senior vice president for Canadian operations.
“The curtailments are not a reflection on our hard-working employees or contractors. We appreciate all of their efforts and continued commitment to safety during these difficult times.”
The closure here will idle more than 350 Canfor workers as well as contractors who provide the fibre for the mill.
These curtailments will remove almost 58 million board feet of production output and are in addition to all previously announced capacity reductions.