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Quebec loses 900 jobs


September 28, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The month of October will be a challenge for nearly 900 forestry workers in Quebec. AbitibiBowater is idling four s…

The month of October will be a challenge for nearly 900 forestry workers in Quebec. AbitibiBowater is idling four sawmills and woodland operations in response to slumping U.S. housing starts.

According to a recent report by Canadian Press, a sawmill in Thunder Bay will also face reductions in work hours, but no employees will lose their jobs.

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Starting October 6, AbitibiBowater’s facilities in Lebel-sur-Quevillon, La Tuque and St-Felicien will close for four weeks. Senneterre will have its shifts reduced after a two-week closure.

“This decision is being taken because of the market,” CP reported company spokesman Pierre Choquette as saying. “It’s just going downhill for the last few weeks.”

Choquette confirmed the facilities churn out two-by-four studs that are used in residential construction projects. The price for the studs has plummeted to $260 per thousand board feet, a price tag that hasn’t been seen since 1991.

CP confirmed Choquette as saying workers are not surprised about the downtime, as they are well aware of the difficulties the sector is experiencing. “All of them are aware that we want to remain competitive and want to shut down as soon as possible.”


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