62 laid off at northern Sask. sawmill
In the latest blow to Saskatchewan's struggling forestry sector, all 62 workers at the NorSask Forest Products sawmill in Meadow Lake have been sent termination notices.
According to the United Steelworkers union, notices sent to employees said "current economic conditions simply do not allow us to continue operations at this time."
The notices also said: "Lumber prices will recover, and at that time NorSask will start up again, and at that time we will contact you in the hope that you can rejoin NorSask as an employee."
The shutdown takes effect Dec. 19. The union said it didn't know whether the layoffs were permanent or temporary.
The mill had been working on a reduced shift since March. In previous years, it had about 100 unionized employees, plus salaried employees.
"This is another blow to workers, many families and Saskatchewan's forest industry," union spokesman Paul Hallen said in a news release.
No one at NorSask, which is owned by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, was available to do an interview.
Saskatchewan has been shedding forestry jobs in recent years.
Last year, lumber giant Weyerhaeuser Corp. announced the permanent closure of the Hudson Bay plywood plant and the Carrot River lumber stud mill, a loss of 300 jobs.
More than 700 jobs were lost earlier in the decade when Prince Albert's massive pulp and paper operation was closed.
Meadow Lake is located about 280 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.