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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American Woodmark falters in the fourth quarter
Winchester, Va.-based American Woodmark saw earnings falter in the fourth quarter on declining new construction sales as well as lower remodeling sales.
Net income fell to $36,000 from $6.18 million in last year’s fourth quarter. Sales fell 14 percent to $143.3 million from $166.1 million in the same period last year.
The manufacturer saw a decline in gross profit margin, primarily due to the “unfavorable impact of inefficiencies in labor, overhead and freight costs stemming from lower sales volumes, as well as the impact of rising fuel prices upon freight and materials costs,” according to a statement.
For the full year, earnings fell 86.9 percent to $4.27 million from $32.56 million in 2006.
Sales were down 20.8 percent in 2007, to $602.4 million from $760.9 million in the prior year.
American Woodmark manufactures and distributes kitchen cabinets and vanities through 14 manufacturing facilities and nine service centers in the United States.
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Do it Best names plumbing merchandise manager
Do it Best has named Todd Miller as plumbing merchandise manager, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced. In this position, Miller will assist Do it Best member-owners in the selection and marketing of plumbing products, evaluate existing and new plumbing products and implement retail service center and drop ship programs.
Miller was hired by Do it Best in 1997 as an associate merchandise manager in plumbing and has served as housewares merchandise manager for the past five years. Prior to joining Do it Best, he was in hardware store management.
Todd’s retail experience, combined with his previous experience in the plumbing category, is a tremendous benefit to our member-owners,” said Steve Markley, vp-merchandising for Do it Best. “Plumbing is a broad product category, and our members serve everyone from professional plumbers to weekend warriors doing their own repairs or remodeling projects.”