It looks as if the Canfor sawmill in Chetwynd will be re-opening.
Canfor Spokesperson Dave Lefebvre says negotiations began between United Steelworkers (the union representing the workers) and Canfor representatives earlier this year. Lefebvre says Canfor outlined the cost implications of re-opening the mill. [asset|aid=2185|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=7e504f45ddc1deb97be5a3c5cacbf061-Lefebvre 1_1_Pub.mp3]
Employees voted 73 per cent in favour of the new cost structure. Basically, employees voted to have a wage reduction until the economy recovers. Lefebvre says there is a profit-sharing agreement in place for when times get better.
Levebvre declined to specify exactly what the wage decrease amounts to, though Chetwynd’s Peace FM is reporting it to be around $5.40/hour.
Employees will get to keep their benefits and pensions.
Lefebvre says, pending the board’s decision, the sawmill will be re-opened in late May of 2010. One shift will be added, employing around 65 people. Lefebvre says more shifts will be added as the economy rebounds.
Canfor’s sawmill in Chetwynd closed in early 2008, due to the economic downturn. Around 188 employees were laid off.