National union will host job fair for mill workers

Gary Kean
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Corner Brook Pulp and Paper.— File photo by The Western Star

The union representing the majority of employees at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper says it will host a job fair in the city for workers displaced by the paper company’s restructuring.

A total of 46 full-time jobs were affected by cuts the unions were informed of last week.

A subsequent news release from Kruger Inc., the mill’s parent company based in Montreal, indicated there would be more reductions to the workforce in the coming weeks and months.

Dave Coles, national president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union, said the union’s construction division helps place workers who have the right skills into jobs, most of which are in the oilsands of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

CEP has hosted job fairs in Atlantic Canada before and Coles said the goal is to have one or two in Newfoundland and Labrador.

There will be one in Corner Brook in the coming months, although there is no specific date confirmed yet.

“Our construction division co-ordinator is working on it now, but we are going to wait a bit because we are not exactly sure what the total shakedown is going to be at the mill,” Coles said.

Most of the construction job openings in the oilsands of Western Canada, and other industrial projects in the country, will be for skilled trades such as steam engineers and heavy equipment operators, or for semi-skilled drivers and labourers.

“The boom is not quite on in the oilpatch right now,” said Coles. “It is starting to build up and it should be in full bloom by the end of the summer or beginning of the fall.”

While the majority of jobs may be in the West, Coles said there is a possibility of skilled trade work cropping up in Atlantic Canadian shipyards. Those jobs would be offered through the Canadian Auto Workers union, which is currently exploring the possibility of a merger with the CEP.

“There is a possibility there will be more work in Newfoundland,” Coles noted. “It’s not clear what’s going to happen at Bull Arm. In the offshore, if they catch a bit of a wave, there could be at-home jobs yet.”

The job fair in Corner Brook, according to Coles, could be held in about eight weeks.

In the meantime, anyone interested in job openings that are available now can get more information by emailing

The Western Star

Organizations: Kruger Inc., Canadian Auto Workers union, CEP

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Corner Brook, Montreal Saskatchewan Atlantic Canada Western Canada Western Star

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Recent comments

  • I Paid My Union Dues
    February 07, 2012 - 08:35

    I paid my union dues for over 10 years now. I don't want my union to create a job fair. I want it to show some spine and fight for opur jobs, not cave in at the first sign of trouble. Our president, shop stewards and union spokespeople are protected and will not lose their job. But I get to go to a job fair, maybe find work in Alberta while my family is here in Corner Brook. Not good enough. I Blame the CEP.

    • AN honest comment from an honest man
      February 07, 2012 - 08:46

      So you are paying union dues to so that your union can find you a job AWAY from your family....that is a joke. Seriously, there is nothing funny about it. What are you paying for? Your are right .....the president, stewards and spokespeople will not lose their jobs. they are protected with your dues. They will stay with their family. They will enjoy life. I have to be fair here and disclose my view. I am openly anti-union, and and active union buster. I agressively oursource unionized jobs, and serve as a consultant to help companies outsource work to other parts of the global economy and right to work states. I don't want unions to try and stop companies from eliminating jobs, and I want unions to cave at the first sign of trouble. It would make my life easier and my pocket fatter. ................. That said, I do feel bad for people like you because you are paying your union dues, and you union cannot protect your job. I seems to me like you are getting ripped off. Sorry for your situation, maybe you should occupy the union hall. By the way, where is the union hosting the fair? In a building that they own? are they using their dues to pay rent to themselves?

  • I could create jobs in Newfoundland....but choose not to
    February 07, 2012 - 08:08

    I have jobs that need filling. I need to find workers to fill roughly 85 positions, and with my technology, they could be located anywhere in the world. Of course, I will likely set these jobs up in a right to work state, and pay close to $7/hour for labour. That said, I could create these jobs in Canada, and pay $15/hour and still be profitable. BUT note that I choose not to create these jobs in Canada because I don't want to deal with unions and don't want to pay 2X what the work is worth. Hopefully, I can get into contact with the companies who will be at this fair....I would like to offer them a cheaper source of labour.

  • LOL
    February 07, 2012 - 07:46

    Hopefully, any heavy machinery work will entail the use of CAT machines.

    • John
      February 07, 2012 - 09:29

      I have got news for Paid My Union Dues. What is happening in Corner Brook is only a delay of what has happended everywhere,..Grand Falls-Windsor, Stephenville, in Western and Atlantic Canada In union and non-union environments. Protests, sit-ins, marches,blockades, government interventions can not HIDE the fact you are in a DYING INDUSTRY!!! Take solace in the fact, the company probably held onto you longer than it could have and believe me there are LOSSES in this industry. I am not saying that I am for management in all these situations. Look at the Caterpillar workers in London, Ontario working for a company that made billions and stiill decided to lay the workers off anyway because they would not take a 50 per cent wage cut! Still, do you do.