Canfor announced Nov. 1 that lumber production in B.C. would be reduced over the fourth quarter of 2018 through a decrease in operating days. (Black Press file photo)

Houston sawmill operations curtailed last week

Overtime ban and rotating strikes in northern B.C. temporarily halted

Lumber production in Houston is already being curtailed following Canfor’s recent announcement.

Canfor announced Nov. 1 that lumber production in B.C. would be reduced over the fourth quarter of 2018 through a decrease in operating days. This will be achieved through immediate short-term curtailments at some facilities, along with extended downtime at Christmas.

READ MORE: Canfor curtailing sawmill operations in B.C.

Canfor’s sawmill did not run last week, affecting most of its 319 workers. The mill will also be down on Nov. 16, 23 and 30, 2018.

“We are curtailing our operations over the short term due to log supply challenges following another difficult wildfire season, uncompetitive log costs and declining lumber prices,” said Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, last week.

The curtailment is expected to reduce Canfor’s B.C. production output by approximately 10 per cent throughout the quarter.

According to Ward, maintenance activities will still take place when the Houston mill is not running.

“During the downtime some employees will continue to work conducting maintenance and work in the log yard receiving logs,” she explained.

Canfor intends to resume full production in the first quarter of 2019, she added.

Brian O’Rourke, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-2017, told Houston Today he hopes the curtailments are not connected in any way to the negotiations currently underway.

Canfor is represented in bargaining by the Council on Northern Interior Forest Employment Relations (Conifer). Conifer and USW have been engaged in collective bargaining since May 29 , 2018.

The union released a statement last week saying Canfor’s decision to curtail operations in B.C. is “angering USW members in what looks more like a bargaining tactic than a refection of markets.”

Lumber prices hit record levels in June, pushed by seasonal impact of the 2017 forest fires, severe winter weather and strong demand from the U.S. housing market.

Rotating strikes suspended

Members of USW Local 1-2017, which represents Houston sawmill workers, have been in a strike position since Oct. 6.

READ MORE: Canfor sawmill workers ready to strike in Houston

Some sawmill workers in northern B.C. have already participated in an overtime ban and rotating strikes.

READ MORE: Prince George mill workers on picket line as northern union’s rotating strikes continue

Last week the USW Bargaining Committee and the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association, which represents southern interior forestry employers, agreed to mediation through the B.C. Labour Relations Board.

Mediator Dave Schaub has been appointed to mediate talks between the two parties which are scheduled for Nov. 14-16, 2018 in Kelowna.

At the request of the USW Bargaining Committee, the overtime ban and the rotating strikes in northern B.C. have been suspended prior to and during the mediation process.


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

B.C’s salmon advisory council skips Terrace

Public engagement tour excludes all non-coastal communities

Great kids doing great things for Houston

Members of the Houston Minor Hockey and the Houston Ringette canvassed the… Continue reading

Owners of mining project south of Houston allowed to drill again

New Nadina’s free miners certificate had been suspended in September

Council seeks to replace By-Mac Park’s boat launch

The boat launch is currently unusable; district has received several complaints

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Most Read