GILCHRIST, Ore. - Canadian lumber giant Interfor will lay off 130 of the 150 workers that work at its Gilchrist sawmill in Oregon.
“Due to a challenging economic situation, coupled with the difficulties of COVID-19, Interfor is planning to curtail its Gilchrist Division and lay off approximately 130 employees,” Andrew Horahan, vice president for Western Operations, told NewsChannel 21 in a statement.
Horahan says layoffs will begin at the end of June. There is no end date in mind yet. The company plans to continually review ecnomic conditions.
The mill is one of two the company operates in Oregon. Its main product is one-inch Ponderosa pine boards.
Soon after the COVID crisis took hold, Interfor announced major production cuts in British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southern U.S. for two weeks. The decision was made "in order to align production with the prevailing market," the company said. The move will reduce its capital expenditures for 2020 and 2021 by around $140 million.
Canadian lumber mills have been especially hurt by the pandemic. Along with Interfor, West Fraser, Canfor, and Western Forest have announced major output curtailments due the outbreak. Canfor has closed a BC sawmill.
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