Employees at Armstrong and Lumby’s Tolko division are getting an unscheduled summer break.
Vernon-based Tolko Industries announced that its Armstrong lumber, Armstrong plywood, and White Valley veneer operations near Lumby will take downtime from Aug. 17 to Sept. 2.
Heffley Creek plywood and veneer operation near Kamloops will also take downtime from Aug. 24 to Sept. 2, 2019.
“The high cost of logs and weak markets are impacting our operating footprint in British Columbia,” said Tolko vice-president of solid wood, Troy Connolly. “Although we prefer to keep these locations in constant operation, we must manage the business responsibly and ensure we are sustainable for the future.”
Tolko Armstrong experienced four weeks of downtime in May and June.
Connolly says employees were informed of the decision earlier today and their managers are available to assist them with any questions they may have.
“This downtime will affect over 700 of our employees in these operations. We do not make these decisions without a lot of consideration,” said Connolly. “We have great people working at these locations, and this is in no way a reflection on them or their commitment. However, we continue to experience challenging industry conditions in British Columbia.”
Pino Pucci, Tolko’s vice-president of marketing and sales, assured customers that Tolko’s marketing and sales team “will continue to support our customers and do our best to minimize any impacts.”
“Our customers are understanding of current market conditions and aware of our ongoing commitment to serve them,” he said.
More than a month of downtime for Kelowna’s Tolko division was announced at the end of July. The plant will be down from Aug. 6 to Sept. 15.