29 September 2009
Catalyst Paper proposes Elk Mill restart plan to unions
RICHMOND, B.C.—Catalyst Paper recently presented the two local unions, CEP 630 and 1123 representing the workers at the Elk Mills paper mill with a plan that would restart production. In the deal, which has since been turned down by CEP 1123, Catalyst proposed changes including profit sharing and a lowering of wages to approximately $26 per hour, said Brian Johnston, vice president, operations, specialty papers and pulp, Catalyst Paper.

The mill was idled in early February with layoffs affecting nearly 400 hourly and staff employees, said a press release. Johnston said the shutdown is in large part due to the costs of business. “The mill has been down in large part because of what our costs of manufacturing have been versus what they used to be,” he said. “The orders haven’t been coming back in but in fairness to the people there, if we find a way to reduce our costs it would behoove us to get things running again.”

If the deal goes through it would take four to six weeks to restock and get the mill running again, said Johnston. There has been no response from CEP 630.

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