Forklift operator (Former Employee) – High Level, AB – 18 March 2013
I went from a labourer using a shovel, to running a 300,000 dollar forkilift. We would lift the bundles of wood at a time, around the hieght of a house. Tolko taught me a lot of things, from hard work ethic, to loyalty. I just really wish they were safer, there was a lot of alcohol and drug abuse in the yard amungst the operators. I felt it would be safer for me to thank you for the employment, but i have to leave.
Millwright (Current Employee) – Okanagan, BC – 1 August 2017
Over all a good place to work. You get your typical politics you'd get in any large industrial unionized environment. However it seems that some get away with more than others. As long as you try to stay out of it you can avoid the drama trap.
Management comes and goes with how they approach things. They often will micromanage, seeming to rotate who they target. Some weeks everything has a sense of urgency and you're being constantly questioned as to why this was done, or wasn't, or why it was done this way etc. It can get annoying, but I have experienced that everywhere I've worked.
The maintenance dept, where I work, at times is a bit unorganized and often not on the same page amongst supervisors. If you come to work with the attitude of "it's broken, I'll fix it, move on" and stay above the fray you'll never have any worries. However, it can get frustrating when it's your turn to be micromanaged! The dept is often fast paced as when something is down all eyes are on you to fix it, and time is money here. But often times things can be very quiet and makes up for the busy times.
All in all it's a great place to work, our facility anyway. Everyone in the maintenance department makes $100k+/year. I am at home every night/day, and almost unlimited overtime available to us. Good benefits, pension and good pay. Can't complain for living in the okanagan
Excellent pay, friendly coworkers, good location
Graveyard shifts, micromanagement, people hiding behind the union
Great place to make good money, but there are problems
Production Worker (Former Employee) – High Level, AB – 24 June 2017
I worked at Tolko for a year as a production worker. Overall, I was very pleased to receive good wages and benefits. The majority of jobs I was assigned were very easy, but tedious at times. There were a lot of great co-workers and my boss was fantastic. My only problem was trying to ignore the negativity and bitterness of some of the workers there. There are those that will go out of their way to try and make you look bad, and show hostility for no apparent reason. While there are excellent supervisors on staff, there are a few that have absolutely no idea how to manage effectively. If you can get past that, this place is a great place to earn a decent living.
Easy work, good wages and benefits, great co-workers
Tedious jobs, uncomfortable working conditions (hot & dusty), poor attitude by some employees
Forestry Field Coordinator (Former Employee) – High Level, AB – 21 April 2017
Worked in the main office in timber planning.. It was like working with a bunch of cowboys. Safety was on the back burner (they made some summer students do some wildly unsafe tasks, including strapping water packs for firefighting...but full of gasoline, to their backs to burn excess timber debris. One new hire had gasoline spill down their back during the day and was working next to open flames. Seriously.). Summer students worked tough field days, and often worked an average of 1-2 hours of overtime a day without pay or being able to bank the time cause "that's what working forestry is about". Apparently, you're supposed to work a few free hours everyday cause its part of the job... New hires were bullied to their face and behind their backs, and established staff often took bets on when new hires would quit from the pressure. A few did after experiencing mental breakdowns.
Change is always possible, but the culture there was horrendous when I worked there. There were a few gems, but unfortunately they were outnumbered. You'll have to stand up for yourself or decide if its worth your time there.
Sometimes, a supervisor would pay for a lunch out.
Long hours with zero pay or banked time, safety concerns, bullying
IT Department (Current Employee) – Vernon, BC – 18 February 2017
Tolko as a whole is a great company to work for; it has its ups and downs like any other company but seems to be getting worse. Everyone is an expert in their field with the exception of the two managers currently running the IT department. They're the worst micro managers I've seen in a while and consistently mismanage the resources they're responsible for. There is no open door policy, feedback isn't appreciated and often taken the wrong way, you'll spend most days searching endlessly to find the two department managers when needed, and unless your above their pay grade good luck getting any sort of email replies.
If you're hard pressed for work and don't mind being bullied until you find something better, then apply. But be warned, it's pretty bad when the running joke is whose going to quit next.
The pay is pretty good for Vernon.
Favoritism is very real, the managers are condescending bullies, and the turn over rate is horrendous for an IT department.
I.T. Person (Current Employee) – Vernon, BC – 2 February 2017
The pay and benefits are above normal in my industry. I have zero to complain about. I can only speak for my department. Our Manager was let go so they appointed the supervisor (in the interim) to manage the department. He in turn appoints a lead to the supervisor role. this guy has a history of belittling, micromanaging his staff and even has an HR complaint against him. All management in my department are excellent people in their fields. Very smart but ZERO Leadership skills. It's surprising they can manage their own affairs let alone a whole departemnt. Communication is terrible, Recognition only goes out to favourites. Engagement at an all time low. How much more can I say. Hi Stress zero payback. If Pay and benefits are the only aspects that concern you then this is the place to be. OTher than that forget it
power engineer (Former Employee) – Athabasca division – 11 December 2016
I worked for Tolko as a contractor for 3 years and a employee for 7 weeks.During the time I worked at Tolko Athabasca division 6 people were let go within 1 week and this happened on more than one occasion, with that being said job security was very weak. A team lead was making employees go into unsafe work conditions that later the employee was the wrong doer and not the team lead. Poor management skills because no investigation was done on this matter. Co-workers are great there despite the leadership issues. I have since quit and went on to better things. If you would like to work for this company you should be a contractor or a trades-person because they get paid the most and have the most slack. If you work on the floor as a regular joe, expect to work in dusty, caustic ash that will burn you and MIDI glue riddled dust all the time. On a final note safety is preached here but never followed but certain people are above that.
pay is always on time
unsafe and poor management, poor working conditions
parts scrubber / shipper receiver (Former Employee) – Lumby, BC – 13 October 2016
Tolko is a great place to work. Tolko has meany great people in there staff such as managers that are vary easy to work with and understand. tolko also is a very flexible company to work for they have great hours to work
Labourer/Operator (Former Employee) – Kelowna, BC – 19 September 2016
Company is a joke. No advancement what so ever unless you reallly suck up, are a relative, or into sports. Extremely unsafe. Unsafe conditions only ever get resolved once WorkSafe BC gives a heads up about a tour then all of the sudden they scramble around and all unsafe areas are magically clean for a day or so then right after the tour they are back to being a complete unsafe mess. If they actually did a surprise tour no question about it, it would be shut down. Production over safety. Apparently all of the latest fatality's don't phase them. Apparently we are just "A bunch of expendable monkeys" to management. They are completely incompetent. if this company wants to survive the foreseeable next few years it might have left they better start thinking about restructuring management based on experience and performance not handing it out like f'ing candy to privileged family members or friends. AVOID at all costs if you aspire to move up in a company with dedication and hard work, you'll just get sht on. This company is good if you want to be lazy drunk and high in a unionized environment with little to no chance of dismissal.
Co-Workers stuck in the same mess are great people
Was a decent place to work at but Tolko is shutting down in December
Power Engineer (Current Employee) – The Pas, MB – 22 August 2016
Was a good place to work, helped me get my 4th class ticket and I am now working on my 3rd class Power Engineering but the mill is suppose to shut down in December unless somebody else buys it in the upcoming 3 months.
good core values hindered by poor upper management
General Labourer (Current Employee) – Lavington, BC – 11 August 2016
The company has great values and should be a great place to work. The lower level management is great but are constantly being pushed to doing things that make no sense from upper management. Decisions are made without proper thought or consultation causing additional work and expense that is unneeded. People are being put into positions that they should not be which pushes workload to others to compensate.