More layoffs may be coming for Tolko Industries: unconfirmed report

Softwood lumber is pictured at Tolko Industries in Heffley Creek, B.C., April, 1, 2018.
Softwood lumber is pictured at Tolko Industries in Heffley Creek, B.C., April, 1, 2018. The Canadian Press

It appears Tolko Industries will be laying off more people — two weeks after the company announced that it was permanently closing its Kelowna lumber mill.

An email sent to Global Okanagan contained an unconfirmed one-page letter, titled, “Message from Brad to employees.”

Brad Thorlakson is the president and CEO of Tolko Industries.

READ MORE: Indefinite shutdown at Kelowna lumber mill to become permanent: Tolko Industries

The unconfirmed letter said the company will be eliminating “44 positions within Woodlands, Operations, and the Vernon office.”

“This decision was made after a long and careful review of the options, realizing that many good people would be affected,” continued the first paragraph of the letter. “This is in no way a reflection of the commitment or contributions of our employees.”

B.C. sawmills laying off employees
B.C. sawmills laying off employees

Global Okanagan has reached out to Tolko Industries for comment, but has yet to hear back from the company.

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Another Okanagan media outlet has also reported the layoffs.

The letter blamed the layoffs on market conditions.

READ MORE: Tolko announces province-wide holiday shutdown for all B.C. mills

“Due to factors in British Columbia beyond our control, market conditions are predicted to remain challenging for the short term,” said the letter, “and we made this difficult decision to align with our reduced operational footprint in B.C.

“This decision was not made lightly, and our focus is on supporting our employees and their families through this difficult time.”