PENTICTON, B.C. — Penticton has suffered an economic blow as Canwood Furniture announced plans to shut down its Penticton-based manufacturing operations this summer.
Canwood president Mel Kemp said the plant will close in mid-July, affecting 91 employees, including 73 members of the United Steelworkers Local 1-423.
''The past few years have been characterized by turmoil in our industry, most especially at the manufacturing level,'' said Kemp in a news release issued late Friday afternoon. ''We have not been insulated from their impact.''
Canada's manufacturing sector has been hammered by the now-strong Canadian dollar, low-priced imports and severe labor shortages.
Kemp said the labour shortage has been especially hard on Canwood.
During the past eight months, the company has been unable to increase production to meet demand or achieve break-even levels.
Although domestic sales have remained strong, exports to the United States and overseas have been ''all but decimated,'' he said.
Canwood Furniture produces solid-pine furniture from a 12,000-square-metre plant in the Okanagan city.