September 18, 2007 in City

Weyerhaeuser to close mill in Canada

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the world’s largest lumber and paper producers, said Monday it plans to shutter a sawmill in Okanagan Falls, Canada, and cut 224 jobs as part of a plan to boost business in the region.

The company said it will close the sawmill, located more than 200 miles east of Vancouver in British Columbia, on Dec. 17.

Employees will be given a severance package and will be able to look for other jobs inside the company, according to spokesman Frank Mendizabal.

“Today’s announcement is not a reflection on the hard work of our Okanagan Falls employees, whose dedicated service has been a cornerstone of this operation,” said Craig Neeser, president of Weyerhaeuser.

Weyerhaeuser said the closure is part of a broader plan to improve competitiveness in the region, which also includes investing in its Princeton, B.C., sawmill, beyond the $5.5 million it already planned to spend on improvements this year. Shares of Weyerhaeuser slipped 22 cents to close at $69.17.

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