GP'S Springhill Operation To Shut Down

Georgia-Pacific's plywood and sawmill operations in Springhill will shut down indefinitely this month, putting about 400 people out of work, at least temporarily.

Operations will begin to wind down this week and should be completed by month's end, the company said.

Employees were informed Monday afternoon, said Julie Davis, corporate spokeswoman for the Atlanta, Ga.-based company.

Davis emphasized the Springhill plant is not closing its doors for good. "We are simply curtailing operations until market conditions change." However, she could not offer a time frame when workers could expect to get an answer as to the future of their employment.

In a written communication to the Springhill-North Webster Chamber of Commerce office, the company indicated it would re-evaluate operations in late February or early March.

"Hopefully, we will get some good news then," said Chamber President Johnny Edens.

The news, coming two months after 280 Georgia-Pacific workers in DeSoto Parish were left jobless when that plywood operation closed for good, worries area officials who were caught off-guard by the announcement Monday afternoon.

"Of course, it is devastating news to us and to the employees. You just feel helpless. But there's not a lot you can do for them," Mayor Carroll Breaux said.