Pulp and Paper Canada

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Collapsed talks close mills


December 15, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Collapsed talks are sending Abitibi-Consolidated walking. After months of intense negotiations that resulted in lit…

Collapsed talks are sending Abitibi-Consolidated walking. After months of intense negotiations that resulted in little but frustration for employees at the company’s mills in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, a solution that would have made the continued operation of the company’s facilities a feasible option, was not found.

“We could not find a viable long-term solution to return the two mills to profitability,” said CEO John Weaver of the newsprint mills in Stephenville and Kenora. “These decisions are difficult but essential to achieve our objectives. We recognize the hard work of many committed people but after much effort, we simply could not overcome the inherent challenges facing these operations.”

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The closures, which will see 655 people thrown out of work, were first announced in July. The news sparked fervent negotiation with both the provinces and the unions to try and pin down a workable alternative. Despite a certain yielding on behalf of the government, which came in the form of offered energy concessions, talks with the unions collapsed.

The market will be purged of 344,000 tonnes of capacity due to the closures. This comes on top of the 90,000 tonnes previously announced.


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