Mill union president hasn’t been told of speculated job cuts

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Gary Kean
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Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and its parent company Kruger are remaining mum on the possibility of job cuts at the mill. — Photo by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and its parent company, Kruger, are remaining mum on whether or not job cuts at the paper mill are imminent.

Union representatives and company officials are scheduled to meet today amidst talk that a significant number of jobs could be affected.

Calls to the mill in Corner Brook Monday were deferred to Kruger’s head office in Montreal, but the company — as per its policy — declined to comment on its labour relations.

Bruce Randell, president of Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 242, said he has not been told anything about today’s meeting.

“We’d be shocked if that information came true,” Randell said of talk that as many as 90 jobs may be affected. “We don’t really see that happening.”

Randell is not ruling out measures such as early retirement packages, crew realignments or some employees being moved back into the casual labour pool, but is not sure how the mill can cut jobs altogether.

“The mill is basically after restructuring and downsizing for the last four years and we’re really at the bottom,” he said. “I can’t see where they are going to get the number of jobs that is being speculated are going to be gone.”

Keith Goulding, president of the Corner Brook Chamber of Commerce, said any jobs affected, whether through attrition or otherwise, is never good news for the local economy. In the worst case scenario, he is concerned about the impact potential job losses could have on affected families and the local retail sector.

While also worried about the effect any type of further downsizing of the mill’s workforce might have, Goulding said people have to realize the company must do what it has to in order to remain competitive in the difficult newsprint marketplace.

“To see anything negatively impact the mill, I am concerned about that,” he said. “If it means long-term viability for the mill, then we would obviously have to support that.”

The Western Star’s request for an interview with Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy was declined Monday.

This past weekend, Justice Minister Tom Marshall, the Tory MHA for Humber East, confirmed the provincial government has been told the company is expecting to cut jobs through attrition at the Corner Brook mill.

The Western Star

Organizations: Kruger, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local, Corner Brook Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Montreal, Western Star

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  • OF COURSE THE UNION DOES SEE HOW THEY CAN CUT JOBS
    January 26, 2012 - 17:39

    the union obviously will not see how to cut jobs. that is why you need management, or consultants to come in and decided what jobs to cut and what jobs to combine. Companies should engage in workforce reduction analysis every year. The job of every employee should be scrutinized and then changes should be made to roll 3 jobs into 2, or 8 jobs into 7. There is always a way to do less with the same amount of workers, you just have to find efficiencies. I do this every year, and pop the savings into my RRSPs or into my investments. I is just smart business and every employer should engage in this 1-2 times a year. I've done this kind of consulting too, and yes it is very lucrative. But what is more noteworthy is that I have never, ever told a client that there are not cuts to be made.

  • lonenewfwolf
    January 24, 2012 - 18:47

    there are a number of scenarios that could be playing out here...kruger will attempt to divest its energy assets from the milling operation, there will be more kruger energy projects in the near future, emera may end up being tied into it somehow either as a partner in wind/ hydro or as an exporter for the power. just some guesses as to what's going on. they're holding out for something, and it ain't the pretty scenery.