Despite best efforts to stay afloat, more layoffs are coming for Georgia-Pacific employees. Georgia-Pacific was at one time, Columbus County's fifth largest employer, providing about 450 jobs. But beginning in October, it has been rounds of layoffs; now the end is in sight. "They will be in production for another 60 days. That will be about the middle of May," said Whiteville Mayor, Dial Gray. Gray received letters from the plant's managers detailing Georgia-Pacific's probable fate, unless the market takes a dramatic turn for the better. What is left of Georgia-Pacific will shut down and the remaining 90 plus workers at the facility's last two operating divisions will be out of a job. "They were also one of the better paying employers,” said Charles Garrett from Columbus County Job Link Center. “And those wages will be sorely missed." Garrett said with the housing market in a slump, Georgia-Pacific has taken a huge hit. The lumber company sites present market conditions as the reason for the looming layoffs. It's exact last day is unknown. It could be anywhere from mid to late May. Georgia-Pacific will pay its employees and their benefits through May 31st. Georgia-Pacific managers said the plant will stay closed indefinitely.
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