Steve Swanson, president and CEO of the Swanson Group has announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemics impact on demand for plywood, the company will be laying off 300 workers from its plywood mill in Glendale Oregon. The layoffs will be indefinite, as the mill has been shutting down operations gradually over the last few weeks and laying off workers accordingly, as well as administrative staff. The Swanson Group also runs a mill in Roseburg and a facility in Springfield. The Roseburg mill, which has about 150 employees, has cut production back by about 20%, Swanson said. The Springfield facility has about 250 employees and it is likely there will be some layoffs there, he said. In addition to the layoffs, employees who remain working will take a 10% pay cut beginning April 16, he said.
Matt Hill, executive director of the Douglas Timber Operators, on commenting on the Swanson Group mill closure said these are difficult times for the forest products industry, with no immediate end in sight. Hill said other plants across the state are experiencing similar cutbacks. They include Seneca Sawmill Co., which employs 470 in Eugene and Noti, which is cutting hours at its three mills in Eugene and closing down its log yard. The company is trying to get employees 30 hours a week, Hill said, but in some cases that means bringing crews in to power wash and paint, not process logs. It has handed out bags of groceries to employees and is paying all health care premiums for April and May. Timber Products Co. in Medford, which confirmed last week that it has temporarily shut down a facility in Medford after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Company officials say they have shut down their mill in Medford while the facility is deep cleaned. They plan to re-open the mill sometime next week.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.