It could be the start of a rocky summer for the Chemainus sawmill and other Western Forest Products mills on the Island, as the current contract with United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 expires as of June 15. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Graveyard shift being axed at Chemainus sawmill

Western Forest Products move comes on the heels of current union contract’s expiration

The graveyard shift at Western Forest Products’ Chemainus sawmill is being eliminated until further notice at the conclusion of work Friday, June 14.

The move comes just as the current contract of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 is due to expire Saturday, June 15.

The company announced June 6 that temporary production curtailments would be forthcoming at three of its sawmills – Duke Point, Chemainus and Saltair.

“These temporary curtailments are necessary to align production volumes to match current customer demand,” noted WFP director of communications Babita Khunkhun.

The WFP Saltair mill is shutting down for a week on June 24 and Duke Point in Nanaimo is shutting down for two weeks as of June 17.

“With regard to the Chemainus sawmill, we are reducing operating levels from 120 hours per week to 80 hours per week for an indefinite period, beginning June 17,” added Khunkhun.

“This means moving from operating three shifts per day to two shifts per day. We expect this reduction in hours will impact approximately 15 to 20 positions. We will be working to mitigate impacts on employees, including looking to fill vacancies at other facilities where opportunities exist.”

“The temporary production curtailments are necessary due to challenging market conditions,” noted Don Demens, WFP President and CEO. “The challenge of weak markets is compounded by the disproportionate impacts of softwood lumber duties on high value products, including Western Red Cedar.”

Negotiations toward a new contract with the union are ongoing while the potential for a strike looms.

Just Posted

Ladysmith hosts Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at Transfer Beach

Community comes together to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

Ladysmith man arrested for armed robbery and jewelry theft

Dustin Williams charged for robbery of beer and wine store and theft at jewelry store in Nanaimo

John Marston’s nutsamuut syaays welcome figure unveiled at LSS

The unveiling lasted for only a few hours, but it celebrated several years of work

Ladysmith couple prepares for 2019 Cycle of Life Tour

Brian and Karen Hartley will be riding to raise money for hospice care across Vancouver Island

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Chemainus

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read