(Update: Adding recent curtailments at other mills)
B.C.-based corporation cites 'challenging' economy, COVID-19 difficulties
GILCHRIST, Ore. (KTVZ) – Vancouver, B.C.-based Interfor Corporation, one of the world’s largest lumber producers, will lay off 130 of its 150 Gilchrist mill workers, starting late next month, the company confirmed Thursday.
“Due to a challenging economic situation, coupled with the difficulties of COVID-19, Interfor is planning to curtail its Gilchrist Division and lay off approximately 130 employees,” Andrew Horahan, vice president for Western Operations, told NewsChannel 21 in a statement.
“Layoffs will begin in late June and will commence by department depending on workload,” Horahan added. “Though there is no recall date at this time, we will be reviewing conditions on an ongoing basis.”
“We know this is a difficult time for our employees, and curtailing the Gilchrist Division was not a decision we made lightly,” he added. “During this curtailment, we will communicate regularly with employees to make sure they have the most current information.”
The northern Klamath County sawmill, one of two Interfor operates in Oregon, produces high-value lumber with a focus on one-inch Ponderosa pine boards, Horahan said in a news report last year, adding the Gilchrist mill produces 75 million board feet per year.
Interfor Communications Manager Brenda Martin said the company also had "some recent temporary curtailments" at its three other millls in the Northwest, "but all three are running now and after this long weekend, they'll all be operating at full capacity."