A truck arrives with a load of logs at Western Forest Products’ mill in Ladysmith. More work will be coming to the Ladysmith sawmill in February, says WFP. (Black Press file photo)

A truck arrives with a load of logs at Western Forest Products’ mill in Ladysmith. More work will be coming to the Ladysmith sawmill in February, says WFP. (Black Press file photo)

More work at Ladysmith mill in new year, says Western Forest Products

Company says Ladysmith operation to see second shift in February

Economic conditions have created the opportunity fo increased production and more work at the Ladysmith sawmill in the early part of the new year, says Western Forest Products.

According to an operations update, Western Forest Products said it has successfully secured a reliable log supply and with favourable market conditions, the Ladysmith mill will be able to support two shifts. Recruitment will begin immediately, with approximately 25 new jobs to start the second shift in February, it said.

In a quarterly earnings report from November, WFP said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has continued production and maintained operating levels in order to support and maintain employment, rebuild inventories and service customers.

WFP and its workers ended a seven-month strike in February and according to the report, the company “partly mitigated the impact of the strike” on customers by continuing to process logs at custom cut facilities and through wholesale lumber activity. Production volume and grade recovery were impacted due to processing log inventory that had degraded during the strike, WFP added.

“By continuing to run … timberlands operations despite significant uncertainty arising from COVID-19,” the company says it rebuilt log inventories leading to resumption of operations at the Cowichan Bay sawmill the first week of May.

In the update, Don Demens, Western Forest Products’ president and CEO, said the company is fortunate to be able to create new jobs during the pandemic.

“As a small log sawmill, the Ladysmith sawmill plays an important role in the coastal forest sector by manufacturing small logs, which might otherwise be chipped, into higher value wood products,” Demens said. “By adding a second shift at the Ladysmith sawmill, we look forward to continuing to add value to the sector while generating economic activity in the community.”

To find out more about available employment, go to www.westernforest.com/careers.

RELATED: Western Forest Products, union reach tentative agreement


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