Local sawmills silenced by housing slump

PORT ANGELES — Brutal market conditions have idled almost 160 workers at two sawmills in Clallam County, with the temporary shutown continuing for a second week at Interfor Pacific and possibly also at Portac Inc.

Another 136 mill workers at KPly’s plywood mill in Port Angeles have been collecting unemployment since Nov. 2.

After two return dates came and went, KPly workers are now scheduled to be back at work next Monday, Feb. 18.

A national housing slump and historically low lumber prices are forcing sawmills all over the Northwest to shut down temporarily, slow production or lay off employees.

Some industry analysts are expecting a shake-out in 2008, with some mills closing for good.

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