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Union calls for halt to Stephenville tear-down


August 14, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Abitibi-Consolidated has confirmed plans to tear down its paper mill in Stephenville, NF.

Abitibi-Consolidated has confirmed plans to tear down its paper mill in Stephenville, NF.

On August 8, the province announced Abitibi had applied for permission to take down the facility, the CBC reported.

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Newsprint production at the mill ceased last October, and the company decided to permanently close shop two months later.

Although several interested buyers had contacted the government, high energy and wood costs prevented the fruition of an actual sale.

Now, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union is stepping up to voice its discontent with the measure.

“We were told by the former minister Ed Byrne in April that he had confirmed with the Justice Department and that there was no fear of the building being demolished,” the CBC reported union vice-president Ken Thibeau as saying. “It was just an environmental cleanup and that’s what we wanted.”

The union submitted a two-page document to Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale, highlighting possible alternative uses for the facility, the CBC said.

“The community development committee and the task force, which was set up by the provincial government, were talking to a lot of potential customers, if you will, or companies, trying to entice them to coming into Stephenville,” CBC reported Stephenville Mayor Tom O’Brien as saying.

The union is looking to conduct a meeting with Dunderdale and MHA Joan Burke to discuss the possibility of keeping the mill intact, CBC confirmed.


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