Latest mill vote marks important step forward
June 23, 2012
The agreement reached between workers with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited and Kruger Inc. is an important step forward in the ongoing work to secure the future of the mill, said Premier Kathy Dunderdale today in reaction to the results last night of the CEP vote. Kruger has indicated this agreement will now allow a second vote on pension plan funding relief measures, and time to complete its assessment of the mill’s viability.
“This is encouraging news for the people of Corner Brook, the entire region, and our province,” said Premier Dunderdale. “I commend the workers and the company for their hard work and dedication in reaching an agreement. Much work remains to be done but certainly this vote shows the commitment of the CEP workers to securing the mill’s future. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper has been one of the region’s main employers and economic contributors for many years and we all want that to continue.”
The mill employs an estimated 610 full-time and casual workers, and is the sole paper producer in Newfoundland and Labrador. The mill is one of the largest private employers in western Newfoundland.
The mill’s unions, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), voted on a final collective agreement offer from Kruger Inc. this week. The results were released Friday night, with employees of the CEP voting to accept, and employees of the IAMAW not accepting, the collective agreement proposed by Kruger Inc. earlier in the week.
“Our government remains committed to providing reasonable support for the mill once labour and pension issues are all resolved, and a long-term sustainability plan for the future of the mill is in place,” said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. “We urge the company and the IAMAW to try and find a way forward through this difficult situation and make another attempt to reach an agreement.”
Premier Dunderdale arrived in Corner Brook yesterday to be in the community when the results of the vote were revealed. She will be available to media today at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Sir Richard Squires Building in Corner Brook.