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

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Young Nanaimo man dies after losing control of ATV

Accident claimed the life of a 23-year-old south of Nanaimo over the long weekend

Record article sparks return of stolen tonals

Letter writer expressed remorse after reading article describing personal connection to items

Barriers remain to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Survey finds 15 per cent of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

RCMP searching for missing Vancouver Island teenager

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home in Port Alberni

Hundreds call for a clean energy future at Hands Across the Sand event in Tofino

Surfrider Pacific Rim and Friends of Clayoquot Sound team up to host the peaceful gathering

UPDATE: Suspected drunk driver hits line-painting truck on the highway on the Island

Crash happened at 1 a.m. Wednesday on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Most Read