Tolko reducing capacity at its Armstrong, Williams Lake lumber mills | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Tolko reducing capacity at its Armstrong, Williams Lake lumber mills

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September 18, 2019 - 10:38 AM

VERNON - Vernon-based forestry company Tolko Industries has announced it is implementing a "flexible operating footprint" at it's Armstrong mill.

According to a media release the decision has been made due to high log costs in B.C. and weak market conditions. The change will reduce the company's operating stud capacity by 20 per cent and will be rolled out at the firm's Williams Lake Soda Creek mill as well.

"The continued and increasing pressures on log delivery costs in B.C. have eroded our competitiveness. This, in addition to continued weak markets, means we must take immediate and responsible action to ensure our long-term stability in B.C. We are moving to a flexible operating footprint starting next week. We will continue to monitor our cost competitiveness regularly to determine if further downtime is required. Our top priority is sustaining the business and the many jobs and economic spinoffs it provides to our communities," Tolko Solid Wood vice president Troy Connolly said in the release.

Tolko says the actions have nothing to do with the companies employees, who were informed of the news earlier today, Sept. 18.

"We know this is not good news,” Connolly said. "However, we have a tremendously engaged and talented workforce, and we want them to continue as part of the Tolko family. Reducing capacity and changing our footprint is the best way to keep people employed and mills operating. It also gives us the flexibility to immediately react and adjust our schedule should conditions improve. It’s the best possible option right now in current conditions."

Tolko recently closed it's Kelowna lumber mill indefinitely.

"We want everyone to know this is not a decision we made lightly. Unfortunately, this is a tumultuous time for Tolko and the industry. We are forced to make tough decisions to ensure we remain sustainable for the long-term. We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our employees and thank them for sticking with us through this difficult time," Connolly said in the release.

Tolko does not specifically say how its employees will be impacted by the reduced capacity at the two stud lumber operations.

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