By Cindy Macdonald
The paper mill in The Pas, Man., has been saved from imminent closure, and 300 jobs are no longer in jeopardy. Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd., a company affiliated with American Industrial Acquisition Corp., has purchased Tolko’s Manitoba Kraft paper mill and sawmill in The Pas.
As part of the agreement, all current Manitoba employees will transition to Canadian Kraft Paper Industries, and maintain operations going forward. Tolko says it will work with Canadian Kraft Paper Industries to support a successful transition over the coming months.
Announcing the sale, Brad Thorlakson, president and CEO of Tolko Industries commented: “We are pleased negotiations with Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited have reached a successful conclusion. I want to thank the employees at the Manitoba operation for their dedication and patience throughout this process, and to the retirees for their support of the sale.”
Thorlakson added: “We also want to acknowledge the critical role that the Swampy Cree Tribal Council played in enabling this sale; and recognize the Manitoba Government, the Town of the Pas, and local unions for their cooperation and work towards making this sale happen.”
According to various media reports, the town of The Pas is giving the new owner a three-year break on property taxes, and provincial authorities and employees agreed to a three-year break on pension solvency payments. Also, employees agreed to a 10 per cent rollback of wages.
Tolko had announced in August that it would shut down the mill on Dec. 2.