Swanson Lumber recently announced that they are planning extended shutdowns due to hard times in the lumber industry at sawmills in Glendale and Roseburg, which will idle about 700 workers. The mills will shut down for two weeks starting Nov. 14.
Two company owned plywood mills in Springfield and Glendale will also shut down for a week starting on Nov. 21. All of the mills typically close for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Company president Steve Swanson said that demand from China has driven up the price of logs, which in turn drives up the cost of raw materials for mills in the U.S. He also mentioned that China’s demand is not much higher than it was back in the 1990s, but with such low amounts of logs coming off federal lands, it makes prices spike.
The temporary layoffs will affect close to 700 employees, but according to Swanson they will be eligible for unemployment benefits during that time.