MASARDIS, Maine — A Quebec-based company that completed the purchase of Fraser Timber’s lumber mill in Masardis in January will temporarily layoff its 135 employees next week due to market conditions.
The layoff at Maibec will last four weeks, according to Charles Tardif, vice president of Maibec.
The mill normally shuts down for a week during this time of year, Tardif said Thursday afternoon. Mill officials made the decision to extend the layoff by an additional three weeks due to a downturn in the market.
“It is only temporary,” he said. “The price of lumber has been going down since January, but the situation is starting to improve really slowly.”
The Masardis facility produces lumber primarily for the construction and renovation markets, and can annually produce more than 100 million board feet of softwood lumber, which is sold in the U.S., according to the company.
The acquisition gave Maibec its first place of business in the U.S.
Tardif said that the employees were told about the pending layoff last week, and those that had vacation time to use could do so, while others could apply for unemployment benefits.
“This is only temporary,” he said. “Otherwise, we are very happy with the mill and the employees and are having success there. It was just this unforeseen lumber market issue. But we want to get past it and get back to work.”
Maibec is a family business that has been active in the wood processing sector since 1946. Its head office is located in Levis, Quebec, with production units located in St. Pamphile and Saint Theophile de Beauce, Quebec, and Masardis.