Letter to the Editor: Weyerhaeuser's Treatment of Employees Upsetting


Weyerhaeuser's treatment of its faithful employees is upsetting but not surprising.

The once family-owned timber company has morphed into a corporate behemoth that is beholden only to its stockholders. Weyerhaeuser enjoys unbelievable property tax breaks, helicopter-sprays of poisonous herbicides near neighborhoods and when they want to develop a piece of forest land it happens with little or no resistance from any municipality.

In 2014, a group of our neighbors built a fence for one of the neighbors who was on disability and could not build it on his own. Within a few weeks, one of the contract drivers hired by Weyerhaeuser, not a Weyerhaeuser employee, took out an entire section of this fence when his truck left the road rounding a corner and drove onto the neighbor's yard.

When Weyerhaeuser hires a contract driver, they incentivize speeding because they are paid by the load. Contract drivers have every right to work also but are basically being forced to go as fast as possible in order to make a living.

When I called Weyerhaeuser management to tell them the contract driver destroyed the fence, they told me “tough luck, not our fault, take it up with the driver if you can figure out who he is.”

Nice. When I told a Weyerhaeuser employee that I know what happened, he came out with a crew and fixed the fence. Weyerhaeuser has an easement on our property that it uses for its convenient access to its timber land. Since June 2021, Weyerhaeuser has locked us out of our own property six times because of mishaps with their locks on the gates to our property. They still will not give us a key to the lock in question. We are told that is just their policy. This has left us unable to feed our cattle in the dead of winter.

Last month, a pickup truck came flying through our property in the dark from the Weyerhaeuser property. I stopped the driver before he could drive off and asked him who he was and why he was on our property at night. He said he was "just a permit holder hunting on the Weyerhaeuser land." He would not tell me where he got his key. This man did not belong on our property, speeding in his truck through our cattle herd after 9 p.m. at night, yet Weyerhaeuser made it all possible with their stupendously screwed up key system.

Weyerhaeuser keys are traded as currency by everyone except the landowners who need them to gain access to their own property. Countless phone calls, letters and emails from us to Weyerhaeuser have resulted in no improvement in the situation for us. Weyerhaeuser does not care. They are powerful with more lawyers than God.

I really hope the hardworking employees that Weyerhaeuser has insulted in the contract negotiations thus far will eventually prevail. They are good people and do not deserve to be continually disrespected by an ugly monster that is only concerned with its share price and nothing else.


Sona Markholt