COOS BAY, Ore. - One of America's top lumber manufacturers will close its sawmill in Coos Bay, Oregon, laying off 111 workers.
“It’s absolutely the worst thing we can ever do from a business standpoint,” said Rick Kimble, Georgia-Pacific spokesman. “You never want to do that, but at the same time you can’t keep a facility operating that’s not making money.”
High competition from Asia and operating costs from an unreliable rail service are the reasons for the closure the company said. Production stopped earlier this week. Workers will remain on the payroll to assist in shutting down. Layoffs will begin in June.
The 25-year-old mill was a big employer in the town of just 16,000.
The company is facing challenges around the country. The lumber maker will invest $30 million in new machinery at one of its Georgia operations in an effort to safeguard itself from a growing lack of employees.
Georgia-Pacific laid off 120 workers at a different Georgia lumber plant in January, citing challenges in log procurement and market problems.
The company recently exited the communication papers business and laid off 650 workers in Louisiana. It then closed a plywood mill in Warm Springs, Georgia on December 17, affecting more than 300 jobs. It also paid more than $79,000 for recent Clean Water Act violations.
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