Western Forest Products to lay off 2,000 workers

Western Forest Products, the Vancouver-based forest products company, has announced plans to lay off nearly 2,000 employees, including 1,850 loggers and 100 sawmill workers.

The company cited falling demand for cedar products for the layoffs, as well as soft demand for forest products in the U.S. and Japanese markets, the two primary markets served by the company.

The company will curtail selected timber harvesting operations on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Sunshine Coast during July and August. “This reduction represents slightly more than half the normal timber harvesting undertaken during this period,” according to the company.

Western also will shut down its Duke Point, B.C., sawmill location during the same two-month period. “This is in addition to the previously announced indefinite shutdown of the Ladysmith, (B.C.) sawmill, and various shorter term curtailments that take place at other mills,” the company said.

Areport in the Vancouver Sun estimated that there currently are more than 12,000 laid-off forest workers in British Columbia.

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