SDS mill downsizes, lays off 75 workers

BINGEN, Wash. -- Seventy-five workers with SDS Lumber Company will be out of a job when the plywood plant downsizes within the next six weeks.

Last Friday, SDS President Jason Spadaro told employees that weak market conditions and stiff competition from Canadian imports led to the partial closure.

"In order to keep SDS Lumber Company in a competitive position for the long term, we must immediately make difficult decisions and changes to the operations of SDS Lumber," said Spadaro.

"These changes are necessary due to developments in demand for wood products and are regrettable for the impacts they will have on the lives and families of our employees, and those in our community," he continued.

He said other operations at the mill will not be affected by the curtailment of plywood panel production and the 218 remaining employees will continue to manufacture green veneer and partial dry veneer -- pending future developments in the market.

He said by taking "painful steps" now, SDS would be able to regain its long-range fiscal footing in a healthier direction.

"SDS Lumber Company will immediately begin steps to reallocate raw materials to our most competitive divisions with the best opportunities for long-term success," he said.

According to Spadero, while SDS does not anticipate any rapid improvements in the plywood market, production machinery at the mill will remain in place so that operations can resume quickly if there is a turnaround.

"SDS Lumber Company has produced a superior quality of plywood for many decades and the strength and dedication of our employees has been one of the keys to our success," said Spadaro. "This decision to curtail production has been an extremely difficult one to reach for everyone involved."

Spadero said SDS will help laid-off employees find job placement and retraining. A severance package is also being offered for laid-off workers who end their employment with the company.

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