In the aftermath of a major merger between Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber Co., three management positions have been eliminated in the Flathead Valley.
Company officials confirmed with the Beacon that three manager positions have been cut in the wood products division. The mill positions existed in both Evergreen and Columbia Falls.
“As our Montana operations have joined a much larger Weyerhaeuser Wood Products organization, we now have new benchmarks for organizational structure,” Tom Ray, Montana resource team leader for Weyerhaeuser, said. “Given that, the decision was made to modify the wood products structure here in Montana and eliminate three manager positions.”
The cuts are the first to emerge publicly since the merger between Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber Co. last month.
Weyerhaeuser operates the former Plum Creek stud and plywood mills in Evergreen and plywood and medium density fiberboard plants, as well as a sawmill, in Columbia Falls. There is also the corporate headquarters, known as the Cedar Palace, in Columbia Falls, where roughly 100 people work in administrative roles.
The Seattle-based timber giant officially merged with Plum Creek on Feb. 19, forming the largest private owner of timberland in the U.S, with more than 13 million acres, including 880,000 acres in Montana. Weyerhaeuser purchased Plum Creek for $8.4 billion.
Following the merger, Weyerhaeuser officials said manufacturing operations “will remain in Montana and the jobs associated with manufacturing will remain.”
Plum Creek employed 759 people in Montana, including 633 in the manufacturing division.
Company officials confirmed some positions would be relocated to Weyerhaeuser’s corporate headquarters in Seattle, while others would be eliminated over the next 24 months.
“There is obviously a duplication in some roles and that will result in some positions being eliminated,” Weyerhaeuser spokesperson Anthony Chavez said last month. “That work is underway. I don’t have any specifics to share at this point in time. There are still a lot of decisions to be made.”