Thirty-five employees of Snowcap Lumber will be without work, as the Abbotsford company is closing its doors on June 29.
The plywood and veneer mill started manufacturing in 1993 from its Wheel Avenue location, but more recently has been for sale.
With no buyers coming forward, the purchase of the plant was offered to management. General manager Glen van Egdom said he was willing to take over the company and continue its operation, but only if the new ownership could get some concessions from the employees.
Van Egdom said the IWA union members voted to turn down an offer that would have seen wages cut from approximately $19 to $17 per hour. Then the decision was made to close the plant.
“We need another vote,” said employee Darren Knight, who was angry at the union for voting down the concessions, knowing that people’s jobs were at stake.
“Then, on April 1 they gave us notice – on April Fools they brought us into the lunchroom,” he said.
He was frustrated with the prospect of being thrown out of work in a down economy.
Knight blamed an earlier labour disruption for costing the company customers, while the union was “battling it out over pennies.”