Columbia Falls, Montana, USA, 21 November 2008 -- Plum Creek today announced it will reduce its total plywood output capacity by 20% by changing the number of shifts the Kalispell plywood plant operates from three to two, effective 01 December 1. This action is in response to reduced demand from plywood customers affected by the nation’s economic downturn.
The plywood produced at Plum Creek facilities in Kalispell and Columbia Falls is primarily used in high-grade and specialty industrial applications, such as boats, recreational vehicles, transportation, concrete forming, and other construction industries. As these market segments have seen their business activities recede, demand for plywood has declined.
The shift reduction will affect 64 employees at the Kalispell plywood plant. Four positions at the plywood plant in Columbia Falls also will be eliminated because of market conditions. Beginning 01 December, both plants will be scheduled to run two shifts, Kalispell with 212 employees and Columbia Falls with 186 employees.
“We are not seeing any improvement in the national economy in the fourth quarter, and our customers are continuing to feel the effects of these challenging conditions. The outlook does not indicate improvement until 2010, requiring us to realign our basic plywood capacity,” said Hank Ricklefs, vice president for Northern Resources and Manufacturing. “We had at least hoped to keep operating three shifts through the year at the Kalispell facility, but the demand for specialty plywood is just not there,” he said.
Employees were notified of the change today.
Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation with more than 7 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and 10 wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest. The company owns and manages more than 1.2 million acres of forestland in Montana, and has committed over 600,000 acres of land to conservation in the state since 2000.
For more information, visit www.plumcreek.com.