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Miramichi, N.B., pulp mill and union reach tentative agreement


August 15, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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A tentative agreement was reached Saturday with workers at a New Brunswick paper mill, bolstering hopes that an end…
A tentative agreement was reached Saturday with workers at a New Brunswick paper mill, bolstering hopes that an end is near to an eight-month strike that has shut down paper production at UPM Miramichi.
About 700 paper and kraft mill employees at the northeastern New Brunswick plant went on strike Dec. 16 to force a new collective agreement with the company. The last agreement expired on June 30, 2004.
The striking workers included 400 former workers at the kraft pulp mill, which closed permanently in December as part of the company’s restructuring plan.
“Although the kraft mill was closed, they got caught up in the strike because things like severance and pensions were part of this contract that was going to be negotiated,” said company spokeswoman Sharon Pond.
The agreement was reached after 12 days of negotiations between the company and Local 689 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, with the help of a provincial mediator.
Pond said details of the agreement would not be released until the union presents it to its members.
Union representatives could not be reached for comment on when a ratification vote would be held.
The paper mill, owned by Finnish-based UPM Kymmene, produces glossy magazine paper.
The strike also forced the company to close its groundwood pulp mill, also in Miramichi, since the pulp it produced could not be made into paper.
About 150 workers at that mill have been laid off since January, Pond said.

Canadian Press

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