West Fraser Timber’s 100 Mile House mill returns to 5 day operation
For the last two years the sawmill and log yard have been operating on a 4 day/week schedule, while the planer has been on five days plus overtime in order to keep the inventory in balance.
The push to expand the working days at the mill has been held up by contract negotiations since December of 2008. Mill Manager Rick Johnsen said the workers met on February 15 and voted in favour of a letter of agreement that now allows for the expansion of the work week.
The workers also voted in favour of altering the schedule of the planer employees to a four day, 10 hours per day, split shift schedule. United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-425 president Bill Derbyshire said this will result in one day a week being a down day for a certain number of workers, possibly up to three at a time.
However, Derbyshire said this new schedule will cover more hours over the week because the new split shift results in 20 hours a day of planer operations for an overall increase from 80 to 100 hours a week.
Ten or more new employees are expected to hired. Many area loggers will also be put back to work to ramp up log inventories to get the mill through the spring breakup time.
The Local 1-425 workers still remain without a contract. They voted to ratify a contract last year, but that vote was tied to West Fraser’s Williams Lake Plywood facility, whose members voted overwhelmingly against that earlier proposal.
West Fraser mill returns to full operations (100 Mile House Free Press)
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