Vaagen Bros. Lumber Inc. will reduce operations at its Colville, Wash., sawmill on Monday to one shift, throwing about 20 people out of work, officials said Wednesday.
Company President Duane Vaagen said a downturn in lumber and chip prices has forced the company to convert the mill to a single shift for the first time in 24 years.
“We’re hoping we can hold to that,” he said.
Vaagen blamed the cutback on the soaring price of logs and record levels of imported Canadian lumber.
The action will reduce employment at the mill to 175 people, Vaagen said. The company’s mill in Republic, Wash., where about 125 people work, is unaffected.
Last summer, Vaagen Bros. closed its Ione, Wash., mill, eliminating nearly 100 jobs.
Vaagen Bros. was expected to receive a federal bailout in the form of a $7.75 million line of credit. Vaagen said the company dropped its efforts to pursue that financing because it would have taken too long to get the money.