COLUMBIA FALLS, MT – Plum Creek Timber Co. announced it will reduce its total plywood output capacity by 20% by changing the number of shifts that the Kalispell plywood plant operates from three to two, effective Dec. 1. This action is in response to reduced demand from plywood customers who have been heavily impacted by the nation’s economic downturn.

The shift reduction will affect 64 employees at the Kalispell plywood plant. Four positions at the plywood plant in Columbia Falls will also be eliminated due to market conditions. Beginning Dec. 1, both plants will be scheduled to run two shifts, Kalispell with 212 employees and Columbia Falls with 186 employees.

“We are not seeing any improvement in the national economy in the fourth quarter, and our customers are continuing to feel the effects of these challenging conditions. The outlook does not indicate improvement until 2010, requiring us to re-align our basic plywood capacity,” said Hank Ricklefs, vice president for Northern Resources and Manufacturing. “We had at least hoped to keep operating three shifts through the year at the Kalispell facility, but the demand for specialty plywood is just not there.”

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