Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill, seen in this August photo, has announced it will shut down one of its paper machines for two weeks, reducing the company’s newsprint output and affecting 110 employees. — File photo by The Western Star
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper will shut down one of its two machines for two weeks, starting Dec. 23.
Kruger Inc., the mill’s Montreal-based parent company, announced the downtime in a news release issued Thursday afternoon.
According to the release, the mill will shut its No. 2 paper machine from Dec. 23 until Jan. 7.
This 15-day curtailment in production will result in a 4,000-metric tonne reduction in newsprint output and will affect 110 employees.
According to Jean Majeau, Kruger’s senior vice-president of corporate affairs and communications, the mill will continue to produce paper on its No. 7 machine.
In a followup email to the news release, Majeau said the temporary shutdown of No. 2 paper machine was needed because of “difficult newsprint market conditions.”
The downtime comes at the end of a tumultuous calendar year for the paper company. It laid off about 50 people last winter before heading into contentious negotiations with its labour unions that are still not straightened out completely.
The company did manage to get five of its eight unions to agree to new labour contracts laden with concessions, but two other unions have rejected offers made to them and one other union is still awaiting the start of talks on a new deal.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper also had its hands full in 2012 trying to get its current and former employees to approve an extension to the time the company requires to fulfill its financial obligations to the company’s pension plan. The company said it needed the extension or the future of the entire operation could be jeopardized.
Retired mill workers approved the request last spring, but it took a second round of voting by the current unionized employees later in the summer to have the extension endorsed.
The Western Star