WFP Ladysmith Division is having production curtailed until at least May 21. (Cole Schisler photo).

Ladysmith sawmill curtails work for a minimum of two weeks

Western Forest Products Ladysmith Sawmill temporarily idled due to a lack of properly sized logs

Approximately 80 workers at one of Ladysmith’s two waterfront sawmills will remain idle until at least after the Victoria Day long weekend.

Work was curtailed at Western Forest Products Ladysmith Sawmill on Monday, May 6 in a shutdown expected to last two weeks.

Babita Khunkhun, senior director of communications for WFP said the curtailment was due to a lack of logs that fit the Ladysmith mill. Khunkhun said the shortage was driven in part by increased competition for small logs from pulp companies.

“We recognize that this decision impacts our employees but the log supply challenges make this unavoidable. We will be working to mitigate impacts on employees, including looking to fill vacancies at other facilities where opportunities exist,” Khunkhun said.

RELATED: Ladysmith sawmill operations suspended due to log shortage

While Khunkhun said the curtailment is due to a shortage of logs, Public and Private Workers of Canada Local 8 representative and Ladysmith plant chair Adrian Soldera said the union was told the curtailment was due to increased logging costs and stumpage fees from the government.

“Our mill is buying 20 percent of our logs from the open market and those costs are increasing from the pulp mills buying all that wood,” Soldera said. “We were told that the increased costs due to the stumpage rates were part of the reason why we were shut down. They said it’s cheaper to pay the penalty than to get the logs out of the bush.”

RELATED: Western Forest Products to shut Alberni sawmill for a month

All WFP mills are in contract negotiations this year. Contracts for the Cowichan Bay, Saltair and Duke Point mills are up in June. The contract with Ladysmith mill expires in December. The current curtailment may or may not have an impact on those negotiations.

“I’m not going to say that’s true or not. Certainly if they’re saying it’s logging and it’s market conditions, then that’s because that we can’t operate the way we want to,” Soldera said. “We haven’t started negotiations yet, so I don’t want to surmise that.”

RELATED: Cowichan Bay sawmill to shutter operations for 2 weeks; union sees it as bargaining tactic

Soldera said he was told they operations would resume on May 21.

“We were told it would be two weeks,” Soldera said. “We don’t know if that’s the case or not, but that’s what we were told.”

Just Posted

Celeb adds star power to Green Party town hall in Nanaimo

Pamela Anderson attended with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP to host series of community meetings

First meeting is scheduled for July 18 at the North Oyster Community Centre

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appeal court decision on plastic bags misguided

Province should support municipalities’ efforts to take environmental action, says letter writer

Three vehicles collide behind Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre

No one hurt in accident Wednesday morning

Three vehicles collide behind Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre

No one hurt in accident Wednesday morning

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Nanaimo mom says she will go to court to try to get allegedly abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Most Read