Employees at the Western Forest Products Chemainus sawmill will be heading back to work next week after the Family Day long weekend following a production curtailment layoff due to a log shortage.
“We have secured enough inventory to restart the mill,” announced Babita Khunkhun, senior director of communications for WFP. “We intend to resume operations on February 22.”
Weather and harvest conditions contributed to the temporary log shortage and the curtailment at the Chemainus mill started on Feb. 2.
Chemainus primarily processes Western Red Cedar and “there was approximately one million (cubic metres) less cedar harvest on the coast last year than the average between 2015-2018,” according to Khunkhun.
WFP ran alternate species at the Chemainus mill in 2021 to address chronic log supply shortages.
Packaging and shipping continued on day shift last week. The final day of packaging was last Thursday, Feb. 10 and limited shipping continued into this week.
One long-time employee said he got a call from his supervisor to come in for four hours this Sunday, Feb. 20 to bark logs for production on two shifts, starting Feb. 22.