Western Forest Products Employee Reviews

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Only gave one star because it was required....
Finance Clerk (Former Employee) –  Vancouver Island, BC11 March 2019
This corporation is most certainly not competitive despite what their employment ads may say....the "raises" you do get don't even cover the annual cost of living increases. Upper management is full of power trippers who pick their favorites right off the hop. These people get whatever they want handed to them on a silver platter while the unfortunate others are treated like trash. You are made, and occasionally told that you are completely replaceable. Absolutely no work life balance, no flexibility for personal appointments, issues, or family responsibilities. This business needs to wake up and realize they are stuck in the stone ages and will not attract any new talent unless there are some BIG changes!
Pros
Great people to work with (non-management)
Cons
Everything else...
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No future here
Millwright (Current Employee) –  Port Alberni, BC21 February 2019
This operation is on the verge of closure. Horrendous mechanical state. Everyone completely fed up and miserable and just holding out for severance. Casuals working day shift while long term employees working nights. This used to be a great place to work but now so bad it defies decription.


Antiquated equipment
Bully management most with limited mill experience
No overtime
Worst shift schedule on the planet.
Chaos all the time
Straight time saturdays and sundays

Please just pay us severance and just shut it down.
Pros
Possible severance
Cons
Everything
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Prison type atmosphere
Garbage Collector (Former Employee) –  Chemainus, BC6 February 2019
The Chemainus sawmill in the last few years has turned into a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE place too work. The lack of respect and knowledge is beyond frusterating. The only smiles you will see are on the management and the rats who work close with them. The concerns of employees are ignored and pushed aside.There has been such a HUGE turn around in the last two years. Several of the knowledgeable employees have left because of poor treatment and horrible/lack there of management. What is left behind are new replacements that have little to no training which compromises safety in a HUGE way. Safety is NOT important here. Big issues are overlooked and not addressed. No one works together and their is a constant atmosphere of tension and hatrid. The money may be good but your mental health will suffer tremendously. Save yourself the turmoil and apply somewhere else.
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Could be a great company if they only cared about their workers.
WFP SPOUSE (Current Employee) –  Ladysmith, BC4 February 2019
I have been the spouse to a Western Forrest Products worker for quite some time and there are just a few things I would like to share from the spouse’s point of view. They finally just pulled the last straw where I can no longer just bite my tongue. This company has made it very clear that their employees mean absolutely nothing to them. In this day in age unless you have a $30 an hour paying job (which WFP is not) you Need both parents working just to get by. Unfortunately, WFP has made that impossible if you have a family for the spouse to be able to work as well. We have a son that needs to be looked after for us to work and that’s doable, but sadly it is still impossible to do so as WFP is shift work. They don’t find out that they are working until a couple of days in advance, and even when they do it is a completely different shift EVERY WEEK. How am I as a mother supposed to have a job when I need a different sitter ever morning throughout the week or next week every evening. Not only that but they get put on graveyards at random here and there? Don’t get me wrong I’m not apposed to graveyards some people even prefer them, but they should not be giving them out one week then mornings then graveyards then evenings. Graveyards effect a lot more than just being able to spend time with your family but there is strong evidence that shift work is related to a number of serious health conditions, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, shift work is also linked to stomach problems and ulcers, depression, and an increased risk of accidents or injury. Last, they like  more... to state that they are for the company but how is that so when they lay people off whenever it suits their pockets. Recently alone they were all laid off right before Christmas, they made what was supposed to be a happy time for families awful and stressful. They also just gave all the guys bonuses because they had to it was in their contract, but then laid them all off right after for a week. That’s sure a good way to get out of giving a bonus.  less
Pros
Decent pay
Cons
To many to list.
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Ineffective management at every level
Administrator (Former Employee) –  Vancouver Island, BC31 January 2019
Toxic environment. Bullying is not addressed, some divisions seem to only want themselves to succeed at the expense of other divisions.
Zero transparency, information hoarding.

There are a few amazing managers and supervisors, they are few and far between and are not given the resources they need to be successful. If they had the tools they needed they could create real and valuable change. This is the hardest part of the job, seeing great employees being stifled and not able to really make a difference.

Too many unqualified people being promoted solely to stop them from leaving or their friends are promoting them. This creates poor leadership and uninformed supervisors.

Good hard workers are used up by the company and discarded. Promotions based upon how long people have worked for the company despite their obvious inability to manage/supervisor or even have the rudimentary understanding of the jobs that are done by the people they supervise. Or they over simplify what they think the person does which is extremely insulting. Micro managers, inability to listen to the employees about their concerns and workload and get told “whatever it has to be done”

Only production matters. Not employees work life balance. Not even the very lives of the employees as evidenced by prior incidents.

Massive talent drain at WFP. They strive to keep some people, who don’t have other options for the same paying job, they can’t keep the good employees because those ones are employable and able to get new jobs for the same or higher salary.

I was recently approached to go
  more... back to WFP, too toxic, too many ineffective people still there. Nothing would have changed, I declined.  less
Pros
Some amazing people
Cons
Talent drain, ineffective micro managers
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Trades Would Have To Desperate And Beaten Down To Work Here
Welder/Fabricator (Former Employee) –  Duncan, BC11 January 2019
"RED ALERT" Inept, non qualified Maintenance Management will conduct an interview and Not inform you that your shifts WILL BE, Thurs-Sun, Fri-Mon, or Sat-Tues! Of course they'll say it won't take long to get a decent Monday to Friday Shift. This is called "Alternative Facts"! Be prepared to attempt to hold the Companies feet to the fire to have them adhere to their own Safety Policies and Procedures. Five long term Millwrights have quit at one of their Sawmills in the past six months and instead of fixing the obvious Management issues, don't seem too concerned with the mass exodus claiming, "Retirement" as the reason. Again, " alternative facts"! If you decide to heed the warning and accept employement, I wish you luck. You will soon find out why others have bailed! Grow a thick skin fellow Tradespersons and remember, every I-beam and structure has an Unqualified Foreman or a Rat Chargehand watching your every move!
Pros
No longer there
Cons
Inept, incompetent leadership
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Truth
Peasant (Former Employee) –  Chemainus, BC8 January 2019
I could go on and on about all of the reasons for you to not apply here.

1. Horrible work atmosphere.. everyone is miserable..without a doubt after a few months in working here you will be too
2. Management is beyond underqualified and will treat you as if you are beneath them and disregard pretty much everything important that you have to say.
3. Nothing is consistent and there is no communication and this will drive you insane
4.They preach that safety is important but do not even follow procedures themselves or address important issues
5. Disrespect is a everyday thing here driving all of the qualified employees out the door

If you want a work environment that you absolutely dread going to everyday than this job is right for you.
Cons
How much time do you have?
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4.0
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Growth Opportunities
Accountant (Current Employee) –  Various12 December 2018
I have been working at WFP for over 2 years and worked at multiple locations throughout the company. I have been able to work with lots of amazing people, and continue to have lots of opportunity to learn and develop in my various roles.

The workplace culture varies by location due to each region's own dynamics, but each location's employees consistently show a desire to do what's best for the company, and are very welcoming to new staff.

I highly recommend WFP to all jobseekers. As with any job there is an expectation at times to work overtime as needed but in my experience I have been rewarded with greater flexibility in my schedule due to understanding managers.

A day at WFP is never dull and does it bring its challenges but the pros far outweigh the cons and will lead to a rewarding career.
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4.0
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Growing company with opportunity to learn and grow
HR Leader (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC12 December 2018
WFP has significant strategic change initiatives and there is tremendous opportunity to be involved in stretch projects that help your development. The work can be challenging, as there is lots to be done, but if you aren't afraid to work hard and get your hands dirty it is an amazing place to work and grow.
Pros
Growth opportunities
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4.0
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A good place to learn and grow
HR Administrator (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC4 December 2018
I haven't been at WFP for very long but already it feels like I will be here for a while. It truly feels that if you put in the time and the effort you will get rewarded.

A big plus for me is the size of the organization. You won't be pigeon holed into one position for your entire career because there are so many departments and so many different paths to go if you talk to your manager. The company is also willing to help its employees learn and grow! As a recent graduate who never wanted to go back to school, the chance to keep learning is surprisingly attractive.

Forestry isn't the most attractive industry in Vancouver, but WFP is trying to make wood sexy again.
Pros
Room for advancement; Good pay; Central location; Lots of work!
Cons
Lots of work (either a pro or con depending on your outlook)
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5.0
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Excellent Company
Business Partner (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC4 December 2018
I have been with Western Forest Products for 9 months. In this time I have been able to learn and grow substantially. There are clear goals and expectations of me as well as tons of opportunities for enhancement and growth. I am already experiencing career progression at Western and have been awarded my first promotion.

Additionally, the team at Western has been extremely welcoming and the culture is performance driven and friendly. I could not ask for a better place to work!
Pros
People are amazing, Growth and Developmental Opportunities, and Compensation
Cons
N/a
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Once upon a time...
Fibre Supply (Former Employee) –  Vancouver Island, BC14 November 2018
Once upon a time this was a very good company to work for. I have been a salary management position for 30+ years and have seen many changes and many faces come and go, receiving nothing but positive goal setting and always exceeding these goals, receiving incentive bonuses and raises every year which the company was in a positive position to do so. I have watched in the last 18 months a really well run, knowledgeable department of 15 employees destroyed. Of those 15 happy loyal team employees, 8 of them have been either forced out or packaged out. The new upper management team has been filled with college degree ego personnel, who have never worked a physical day in their life in the industry, having no life skills, no communication skills, thinking they know it all, sending out emails on Saturday and Sunday nights after 9pm, answering emails that have been dealt with days before etc.

All they do is say yes to every dumb thing that comes out of this President and his merry VPs. Cutting bonus's and raises to hard working knowledgeable employees after the company is showing records profits. These employees really do have a passion for their jobs. This is a good way to lose what good employees haven't already left, or are trying to leave. In closing, it is time for this employee to move on before he really tells a certain new manager what he really thinks. There was a time my fellow workers had smiles on their faces and would laugh at work instead of just shaking their heads in disgust or disbelief.
Pros
Was a good group
Cons
Foolish management
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Stay far away!
Contractor (Former Employee) –  Vancouver Island, BC24 October 2018
Terrible employer. Making record profits yet cutting slary/benefits constantly. They are the reason I have left the industry, along with hordes of potential career loggers. I honestly dont know how the industry will survive WFP's business practices.

Morale is rock bottom, intense politics at all levels. Micro management at all levels, constant nickel and diming. Many employees feel trapped and are miserable. Contractors get treated even more poorly. There is no positive to employment, just work for MOF or BCTS and enjoy your life. If WFP's monopoly on the TFL's isn't corrected this industry will crumble.

Run!
Pros
None
Cons
Many - see review
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Documentation VCR
Documentation Specialist (Former Employee) –  Vancouver, BC3 October 2018
A very unprofessional company, I have never witnessed so much politics throughout my career. They will fire you as just cause, not worth investing your hard earned experience.
Pros
Nice office location
Cons
No professionalism
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4.0
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I was an engineers assistant
Engineers Assistant (Former Employee) –  Bella Bella, BC21 August 2018
The bush crew I worked with was amazing. I learned alot and the only reason I stopped working there was because I was in Bella Bella and their work was done in the area.
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Nothing but utter contempt for this company
Millwright (Former Employee) –  Port Alberni, BC8 July 2018
Changed shift schedule with no regard for work/life balance so I decided to leave before implementation.The division i worked at had extremely weak management, aside from the general manager whom i respected. The union isnt much help either, being run by people who no longer even have jobs within the company. I would counsel anyone who may be considering working here to exhaust every other employment option first before even thinking of working for this group of reprehensible scumbags.
Pros
Absolutely none
Cons
Incompetence from CEO down
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Beware: This company is bad news
Prefer not to say (Current Employee) –  Vancouver Island, BC22 June 2018
WFP will suck everything out of you then spit you out as a dried up husk of the person you once were. You will be micromanaged to within an inch of your life by execs/management, who then try to protect themselves by throwing you under the bus. You can accomplish all your goals and measures, meet or even exceed expectations - but all for nothing. No raises, no COL increases, and no explanations. Nothing is transparent. This leads to an unmotivated workforce which spends time each day looking for another job. Turn over is high, coworkers just disappear without any announcement, and no one knows who does what anymore. Highly experienced people are walking out the door and heading to the competition and no one seems to care. There is no leadership at the top. Of any kind. Full stop.
Pros
Your immediate team can be great, mainly because you are huddled together trying to survive the storm.
Cons
Long hours, no raises, no communication, no sense of community, nasty upper management, no leadership.
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Interesting industry, horrible company culture
Accountant (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, BC20 June 2018
There are some very hard working and intelligent people that work at Western. This is a great time to be in the Forest Industry, with the company hitting record profits month after month so I guess there is job security. These are the only positives about Western.

Now the negatives:
- Horrible management that pressure you to work long unpaid hours
- Despite record profits, employee salaries are well below industry standards
- Prepare to be judged if you decide to leave the office to grab lunch, or to leave after working your 8 hours. It is expected to work at least 10 hours/day, with no remuneration for the overtime.
- The pay is below average, especially when you consider the amount of hours you put in. You can make more money in other industries by working way less hours.
- Very unorganized processes. No one in the company truly understands the accounting processes.
- Administration staff are working weekends without pay to satisfy unrealistic expectations set by people in the ivory tower
- Incredibly high turnover
- Company is cutting benefits, particularly vacation
Pros
Met some great hard working people
Cons
Long unpaid hours that are not appreciated
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Betrayed
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Nanaimo, BC27 May 2018
After 30+ years working for this company I was put on written notice of termination WITHOUT CAUSE.
This basically means that there isn't a severance package, but rather an offer to continue working for a specified period. For me the offer was a year and a half and then adios, no payout, no retirement party, no nothing. In essence, you are fired, but after we get more out of you.
The feeling of having to continue to work for a company that kicked you to the curb is both humiliating and hurtful. I'm struggling to gather any enthusiasm and job satisfaction as I once had. I've always loved going to work.
I know I have the option to quit, but not so easy given my age and that my roots are well planted here.
When I reached my 25 year milestone It wasn't acknowledged, not even a thankyou. The past practice for the predecessor company, MacMillan Bloedel was a trip to Vancouver to be presented with a gold watch (and this was for houly personnel)

WFP offers its salary personnel an incentive bonus.
This is basically a goal setting exercise where rewards can be achieved if the company has a profitable year and you meet or exceed your goals. My (new) manager didn't approach me, not even once to discuss my goals for 2017. My supervisor was the one to tell me when the goals needed to be submitted.
I was astonished when I didn't receive a bonus since I had completed all my goals. I wasn't given a letter, reason or anything as to why I wouldn't be receiving this bonus. Every year previously (with different managers) I was given a bonus if there was one.

To summarize, I have been
  more... with this company a long time through many changes. I bled the company colours and believed what they told me, that employees are their best asset.
I believed that I would come to retire with this company and to enjoy a comfortable, if not a rich retirement at the age of 65.
My life has been shattered. I was told that the company is going in a new direction...a " Higher Standard". I now really question what this means.
I no longer recognize what this organization has become (by which, long time personnel are treated and disposed of)

I think it might still be a good employer for hourly workers with union protection, but I would strongly think twice about accepting a salary position with this company. The old saying "i wish I knew then what I know know" resonates with me.

One thing for prospective employees to consider is that the forest industry is very cyclical with many ups and downs (layoffs) so until you have the seniority, things can be very unstable.

In summary, I've been completely honest in my review. I probably sound like I'm venting, but I know others who are in the same position who feel the same way.

My feelings of WFP can be summed up in one word - BETRAYAL
  less
Pros
Vancouver Island, Many good colleagues
Cons
Morale, $$$$ over People
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At least they’re consistent. They treat both hourly and salary the same
Supervisor (Current Employee) –  Nanaimo, BC7 May 2018
Just announced: 26% increase in EBITDA over same period last year, 12.5% increase in shareholder dividend
Was told “its been a rough year, only those with exceeds expectations got a raise” (I understand around 1%)
50+ hr work week, understaffed so you have to do more “other duties as required”
Company does not recognize bank time
Unused vacation is not paid out but lost
What do you have to do to get exceeds expectations anyways? Live at the mill?
Pros
You enjoy home life more
Cons
Big list
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2.3
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