BONIFERRO MILL WORKS
************************* Boniferro Mill Works takes indefinite shutdown
Boniferro Mill Works today issued lay-off notices to all employees shutting down the hardwood sawmill and value added line for an indefinite period of time.
The shutdown begins Monday, April 30th.
The shutdown is necessary to manage the company’s cash resources.
The hardwood sawmill has successfully overcome many challenges facing the forest product industry since taking over the operation in March of 2003 after Domtar announced a permanent closure of the facility.
Management has worked very closely with USW, Local 1-1000 to remain competitive and efficient in extremely difficult times.
The employees have extended the current collective agreement to 2010 to support long-term stability for themselves and the company.
Paul Cassan of Wishart Law Firm represented Boniferro Mill Works in two successful cases to reduce the mill's energy costs and adjust the municipal tax assessment.
Both decisions provide the mill the opportunity to enjoy years of success into the future.
Through their first four years of operation, the mill has been assessed more than $1 million in residual value charges by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Residual value is defined by the Ministry as “The residual value charge ensures that the Crown, as the owner of the timber resource, shares in the financial rewards of strong end-product markets.”
Although the forest industry has not had “strong end-product markets” for some time, these charges continue to be assessed.
The past unfair residual value charges have contributed to the position the company is in today.
These charges have been a tremendous burden to the day-to-day cash flow.
The lay-off affects forty-one (41) workers.
Fox Lumber Sales is the exclusive sales agent for the mill.
They will continue to market inventory and monitor market conditions.
The mill is well positioned with a good log inventory in the yard to respond to our customers' needs once the market improves and demand increases.
Boniferro Mill Works has committed to work with the OMNR to review the current residual value calculation.
Boniferro Mill Works is a hardwood lumber mill located in Sault Ste. Marie producing 15 million board feet of hard maple and birch lumber annually.