Employment Law

West Fraser cutting 147 jobs, reducing production and B.C. mill shifts


Grappling with a lack of timber supplies, Vancouver-based West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. announced that it is cutting a shift at three B.C. mills as it reduces production. Without the shift, 147 jobs are on the chopping block.

In a news release on August 9, 2022, the Canadian wood products company said it is permanently reducing approximately 170 million board feet of combined production at its Fraser Lake and Williams Lake sawmills. It is also cutting around 85 million square feet of production at its Quesnel Plywood mill.

“Access to available timber is an increasing challenge in British Columbia and ongoing transportation constraints have impaired the company’s ability to reliably access markets,” West Fraser said in the release. “These capacity reductions are necessary to better align [our] operating capacity with available timber and transport availability.”

The company said the job cuts will take place during the fourth quarter of 2022 and will impact:

  • 77 positions at Fraser Lake Sawmill
  • 15 positions at Williams Lake Lumber
  • 55 positions at Quesnel Plywood

West Fraser added that it will provide affected employees with work opportunities at its other operations. The company has more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

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Termination agreements for West Fraser employees

Non-unionized employees and senior executives at West Fraser are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring. Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance Pay in B.C.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

If you are a non-unionized employee or senior executive, we can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount (which happens often) you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

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