A variety of factors caused the mill to temporarily shutdown in July. Photo: John Boivin

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

At least 215 Mercer Celgar workers who were laid off during a temporary shutdown of the Castlegar mill in July have now returned to work.

Company spokesperson Rose Leslie said all of the people started working at the mill again on July 31.

After the shutdown, workers helped to complete five days of planned maintenance at the mill to help get it fully operational.

“We will make every effort to make sure that we minimize the impacts of operational noise and odour around the surrounding areas now that were up and running,” said Leslie.

The company announced in May that it would be closing the mill temporarily due to reduced fibre availability from sawmills impacted by COVID-19, costs related to sawlog stumpage charges on pulpwood and an oversupply of already-harvested pulp wood brought on by provincial stumpage rules.

The company lost approximately 52,000 tonnes of pulp production during the shutdown.

Leslie coudn’t confirm whether or not the mill might potentially shut down again in the foreseeable future.

Smaller mills in the Southern Interior have spoken critically about a proposal from Mercer Celgar that asks the B.C. government to restructure how it charges for logs destined for the chipper.

Mercer Celgar employs approximately 430 people at its Castlegar location.

READ MORE: Castlegar mill to sound alarm daily to support essential workers during COVID-19 crisis


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