Thursday, May 8, 2008

Domtar layoff confirmed for Timmins

The downturn in the forestry industry has caught up with the last major operating sawmill in Timmins.
The afternoon shift at the Domtar Corp. McChesney sawmill in Timmins will be eliminated as of May 19 according to a news release issued from the company’s head office in Montreal on Wednesday.
It could mean the layoff of 25 to 35 workers, according to information from local employees. Workers at the mill say they were advised of the layoffs and shift cuts at an employee meeting held in the city last Friday.
Despite repeated efforts by The Timmins Times, local management officials have not been available for comment and corporate communications will not return phone calls.
Local employees also say they were told that the remaining workers at the mill could be facing a cut in their local production bonus of approximately two percent and a cut in local wages of approximately three percent.
The company CEO Raymond Royer told shareholders this week that Domtar will focus on reducing it’s debt and creating more value for the shareholders.
"We believe that the rigour we have demonstrated so far in managing our balance sheet enhances our investment profile within our industry," Royer said.
The Domtar McChesney mill is the oldest and longest operating sawmill in Timmins, having begun in the 1920s. The ther major mills in Timmins include the Tembec mill which shut down in 2006 and the Grant Forest Products OSB plant, which is closed as the result of a company lockout begun in September 2006.

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