NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

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NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by C on Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:06 pm

NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees
By Eileen Adams
Staff Writer
RUMFORD
- Nearly 150 employees at NewPage Corp. will lose their jobs during the
next few weeks according to a press release issued by mill management
Tuesday afternoon.


According to the release, 30 salaried positions and 100 hourly
positions will be eliminated, leaving the total workforce at the local
mill at about 860.


The cuts in salaried positions equals a 16.7 reduction in
workforce; the cuts in hourly positions equals a 12.5 percent
reduction.


Mill managment is not releasing the impact on specific
departments, but would say that nearly all operating and staff areas
throughout the mill will be affected.


The job elimination is part of the 10-mill systemwide
reduction of 150,000 tons of paper. NewPage, based in Miamisburg, Ohio,
operates mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, and Nova Scotia.

C
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Re: NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by steve on Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:29 am

Does this really come as a surprise to anyone out there? New Page has been toying with a permanent workforce reduction for some time. Now it's just a question of when they will decide to pull the plug completely. The SJ article this morning states, "Managers said in a statement that the Rumford mill has higher costs than other NewPage mills around the country." Maybe the union needs to examine their wage scale and see if a concession could save some of those jobs.

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Re: NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by Timeout on Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:58 am

Steve, are you saying you believe a concession in wages could save jobs? What other factors contribute to higher costs of operation besides wages?

"To proactively ensure the Rumford mill remains competitive regionally, nationally and globally, the mill's production costs must be reduced. This staffing reduction is one action among many we are taking," officials said. "Additional initiatives to address the recent cost inflation in raw materials, wood, chemicals and energy are also being implemented." (From today's SJ article)


Last edited by Timeout on Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:02 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : credit quote)

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Re: NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by steve on Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:32 am

Timeout, what I'm saying is that there are several variables that affect the cost of production. Of these, most are beyond the control of management such as utilities, raw materials, transportation, taxes, etc. One of the controllable areas is salaries and wages and benefits. However, it is only through agreement with the union that these costs could be reduced. Now, it may be that any achieved reduction in S&W would not be enough to offset the higher operating costs in other areas, but it is worth exploring - for the sake of keeping the mill open at all.

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Re: NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by Timeout on Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:46 am

Steve, I believe the split of wages vs. others costs is not in a typical range of 50-50 but more 60-40, heavier on the end of other operating costs, not wages.

These higher costs come from the past selling off of the natural resources - trees, energy sources, etc.

The company that owns the mill is an investment company. If they want to sell the mill to someone who wants to keep it operational, then of course reducing employee wages gives them a better sales opportunity, but still no guarantees for the employees.

This is a contract year. It's a powerful bargaining tool for the mill owners.

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Re: NewPage permanently laying off 130 employees

Post by C on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:12 pm

I'm wondering if any of Rumford's municipal decisions/actions/behavior could unknowingly or indirectly influence New Page decisions.
If so, how can Rumford have a positive influence on those decisions?

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