B.C. sawmill hands out up to $5,000 per employee to help with rising costs

Hourly employees at Gorman Bros. Lumber will be getting up to $5,000 to offset rising costs. Courtesy: Gorman's Mill

A West Kelowna sawmill is taking some of the gains it made during the pandemic and giving back to its hourly employees to help them address the rising cost of living.

The company is providing all active hourly employees with up to $5,000 to help address their increasing costs.

Each active hourly employee who has been with the company for six months will receive up to $5,000. Those with less service or who are part-time will receive a pro-rated amount.

This is in addition to this year’s 2.5 per cent cost of living adjustment they will receive on July 1.

“We recognize our employees have come through two years of challenges from the pandemic to various weather events and the general economy,” said Nick Arkle, Gorman Group CEO.

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“They face the increasing pressures of inflation and uncertainty, and we are fortunate to be able to lessen the impact of those rising costs for them and their families.”

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A new survey has found that Canadians are feeling stressed from soaring inflation, particularly from higher grocery prices.

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The FP Canada Financial Stress Index survey says 38 per cent of respondents cited money as the biggest source of stress for the fifth time in eight years, nearly twice as much as personal health, work or relationships.

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More than two-thirds of Canadians say rising grocery prices are having a direct impact on their finance-related stress. And 56 per cent say the same about soaring gas prices, followed closely by the impact of inflation on the cost of goods and services.

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Arkle said lumber prices and markets are softening, but two years of very high prices gave the company this opportunity.

“We recognize our employees are having to deal with the rising cost of gas, food, and consumer goods,” Arkle said.

“We hope this will help all of them.”

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The move will result in new money being injected into the local economies where the employees live, but Arkle said the cash infusion means more than that.

“We know Canadians are feeling the effects of inflation, and we believe our 1,000 employees make us who we are, and we take care of each other,” he said.

The Gorman Group produces high-value wood products for the home finishing renovation market, selling into more than 30 countries around the world.

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It has been in operation for more than 70 years in British Columbia with operations in West Kelowna, Revelstoke, Canoe and Lumby plus Oroville, Wash.

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