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60 laid off at local lumber mill
Columbia Forest Products spokesman cites drop in demand for products
by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 1/13/09
Sixty people will be temporarily laid off next week at a Klamath Falls lumber mill as the souring economy continues to drive down demand for lumber products.
   Itís the second time in less than six months that Columbia Forest Products has laid off employees at its Klamath Falls plant. The company temporarily laid off 65 people in October 2008.
   Those employees have not returned to work yet.
   Jeff Moresi, human resources manager, said the company does not know when employees will be able to return to work. The local millís business has dropped from producing and selling 7,000 panels of plywood a day to 5,000 panels per day.
   ďItís really just a slow market, especially around construction,Ē he said.
   About 265 people work for the lumber products manufacturer. The Klamath Falls plant specifically produces a variety of materials used in cabinetry and remodeling projects.
   Moresi said a temporary layoff lasts up to six months. During that time, laid-off employees can continue their health coverage by paying the same premiums. They also can collect unemployment benefits.
   If activity picks up, the temporarily laid off employees can return to work without having to reapply for their jobs. If the layoff lasts beyond six months, Moresi said those employees are considered laid off permanently.
   ď Thereís no definite return date at this time, but we certainly hope itís less than six months,Ē Moresi said.
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