On Thursday (8-30-23), The Observer reported that Boise Cascade has avoided having to implement a recently announced Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) for all employees at its Elgin Plywood mill in Elgin, Oregon. The layoffs were originally scheduled to start in mid-October.
“The reason for the (Elgin plywood plant’s) curtailment was that the company couldn’t really find a place to put wood chips,” Boise Cascade’s Communications Director Lisa Tschampl told The Observer. Tschampl said the Elgin plant produces about 50–60 truckloads of wood chips per week. Wood chips are a residual fiber leftover from the plywood manufacturing process that the company usually sells to pulp and paper mills in the Pacific Northwest.
After a handful of these mills—including a tissue paper mill in Scappoose owned by Canadian-based Cascade Incorporated that shuttered in July—were shut down earlier this year, Elgin Plywood faced a wood chip pileup. In addition to company closures, other pulp and paper mills have switched to using a different type of wood fiber, according to Tschampl and The Observer.
However, Tschampl said Boise Cascade was able to find an outlet for the wood chips, and there should not be any layoffs in October.
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