Weyerhaeuser adds to list of closures
December 20, 2005 By Pulp & Paper Canada
Northern Ontario’s pulp and paper industry is scheduled to suffer yet another blow, with the closure of one paperma…
Northern Ontario’s pulp and paper industry is scheduled to suffer yet another blow, with the closure of one papermachine at Weyerhaeuser’s mill in Dryden. A total of 80 people will lose their jobs when the machine stops production in the next few weeks. Another 40 jobs will be eliminated next spring when the company scales back the processing part of its mill.
Although Ontario has borne the brunt of many mill closures, a Saskatchewan facility is on Weyerhaeuser’s chopping block as well. The Prince Albert pulp and paper mill will stop producing paper at the end of this month, affecting 690 jobs. The facility churns out 280,000 tonnes of uncoated paper and 130,000 tonnes of market pulp every year.
The mill is being put up for sale, and will continue to operate until the spring in order to reduce the possibility of winter damage.
The announcements sparked a reaction from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, who is calling for the establishment of ‘special economic zones’ for northern and eastern Ontario in an attempt to save jobs and the communities that depend on them.
“The time for action is now,” said Cecil Makowski, Ontario vice president of the CEP. “We do not need sympathy or speeches, we need concrete action.”
The union has proposed the creation of a national campaign to revitalize the industry and forest based communities.
“We think the government can implement special energy pricing by declaring the north and eastern Ontario special economic zones, thus lifting the boot of economic uncertainty from the necks of thousands of workers,” Makowski said.
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