Loggers back at work following shutdowns

  • Aug. 29, 2003 7:00 a.m.

Islands forest workers are back to work after some shut downs and delays earlier this summe, Heidi Bevington writes.
Weyerhaeuser shut down all its coastal operations including the islands, as well as five mills, for the month of July blaming poor market conditions. On the islands, Weyerhaeuser workers returned to work at the beginning of August, says company spokesperson Sarah Goodman.
Weyerhaeuser is still facing tough market conditions with the soft wood lumber tariff and strong Canadian dollar, says Ms Goodman, but by taking some down time, the company was able to balance production with demand.
JS Jones, which has a logging operation on Moresby Island, briefly laid-off workers in July while waiting for cutting permits from the Ministry of Forests. The delay affected 30 forest workers and 6 engineers. The forest workers returned to work July 18, and three engineers returned to work in mid-August, with the other three scheduled to return in September, says company forester Brad Tanner. Recent rains have alleviated fire concerns, and workers should be working for a while, provided markets remain okay, he says.
Most employees of Edwards and Associates, contractors who cut for Weyerhaeuser, went back to work at Dinan Bay August 5, with just a few low seniority people waiting for work at this time, says office manager Wally Cheer. Cutting permits from the province are slowly coming through, and as long as it has approvals, the company expects to continue operating, according to Mr. Cheer.