West Fraser McDavid Lumbermill Cutting 75 Jobs
November 7, 2008
(UPDATED 11:50 a.m.) Employees at West Frasher’s McDavid Lumbermill were told this morning that about 75 of the plant’s approximately 100 jobs are being cut in a partial shutdown.
A company press release says that the approximately 75 jobs will be “implemented in stages over the next several weeks”. The company called the move a “market-related curtailment”.
NorthEscambia.com was told that some employees were notified about the job losses when they reported to work at 4:00 Friday morning.
“This was a very difficult decision for the company to make, but unfortunately it has become necessary due to high log costs and unprecedented market conditions resulting from continued poor housing starts in the U.S.,” said Adrian Block, general manager for wood products for West Fraser in Germantown, Tenn. “We understand that this decidsion is also difficult for affected employees, their families and the community.”
“It’s tough, especially right here at Christmas and Thanksgiving,” one of the affected employees told NorthEscambia.com on the condition on anonymity. “We all knew that this was coming sooner or later, but we were hoping it would be after Christmas. This is tough. I don’t know what I am going to do.”
That employee tells us that most of the layoffs were hourly employees and that most salaries employees will be left to run the mill’s production on a very limited basis.
The McDavid mill produces Southern Yellow Pine lumber and has an annual production capacity of about 200 million board feet. The mill has been running just one shift, producing about 75 million board feet.
West Fraser reported a lost of $2 million, or about a nickel a share, on sales of $848 million in the third quarter of 2008. The company reported losses for the first nine months of of 2008 $68 million, or $1.58 per share.
Pictured above: West Fraser’s McDavid Mill as seen from Highway 29. Company officials would not allow photographs on the company’s property Friday morning. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.