More than 200 jobs will be lost when Tolko Industries shuts its Nicola Valley sawmill in Merritt in December because of a lack of lumber.
“It’s a dark day for Merritt,” said Marty Gibbons, president of United Steelworkers Local 1417. “We’ve lost one of the two major employers in town.”
He said the 203 workers will be out of work on Dec. 16. The average age of mill workers is early 40s to early 50s and the crew at Merritt is “pretty senior,” he said.
“We’ll try to help them into pensions,” he said.
And he will be working with the company to find other positions for the younger workers at the company’s other plants. Tolko has other mills in Armstrong, Vernon, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Kelowna, Kamloops and Lumby, and in other provinces.
Gibbons said the shutdown wasn’t market-driven but caused by a lack of supply of timber. read more >>