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West Fraser temporarily adopts three day work week at B.C. lumber mills

Industry pressed with significant inventory challenges
Logs are piled up at West Fraser Timber in Quesnel, B.C., on April 21, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

West Fraser is temporarily rolling back its operating schedule at lumber mills across B.C., impacting more than 700 employees.

The forestry company confirmed the reduced operating hours in an email to Black Press Media on Tuesday, March 1.

“The transportation crisis in Western Canada that started with flooding in the Lower Mainland last fall has left our industry with significant inventory challenges,” stated West Fraser corporate spokesperson Joyce Wagenaar.

“To manage our inventories West Fraser is temporarily moving from a five to three-day operating schedule for our B.C. lumber mills and working to minimize the impact on these employees.”

Read More: Canfor permanently reducing production capacity at Plateau sawmill in Vanderhoof

Of the approximate 740 employees impacted, 110 are in Williams Lake and 150 in Quesnel.

West Fraser announced a reduction in November of 2021 due to catastrophic rainfall and flooding in southern B.C. that damaged multiple highways, killed livestock and forced thousands of people from their homes.

“We continue to assess the situation and look forward to moving back to our regular operating schedule as soon as we are able,” Wagenaar said.

Black Press Media has reached out to locally elected officials and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for further comment.

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