British Columbia Sun

Powell River paper mill closes down operations considerably, above 200 operators affected

Key takeaways: 

  • The Catalyst Paper tiskwat factory has created paper goods for almost a century. 
  • Paper Excellence is closing down its Catalyst Paper tiskwat mill in Powell River, B.C. 

The Catalyst Paper mill to lock down in Powell River: 

Paper Excellence is considerably ending its Powell River paper factory, affecting over 200 operators at the mill and others in the product’s stock chain. 

The Catalyst Paper tiskwat mill, which has been manufacturing paper for almost a century, has had a solid year.

It was tentatively closed down at the start of the pandemic. When it restarted operations this spring, only half its devices were working and only about 200 of the more than 320 operators who lost their jobs could retreat. 

In a press release, Paper Excellence stated the mill is no longer financially viable.

“The ongoing contraction of global paper markets and paper prices, particularly in Asia, are creating significant ongoing financial losses at the mill,” it stated. Source – cbc.ca

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“Despite the best efforts of the mill’s committed team of employees, the facility is simply not viable under the reality of today’s market conditions.” Source – cbc.ca

Unifor Local 76 President Bill Spence announced the report was not unexpected, but still a blow. 

“It’s one thing to see the train coming at you, it’s another thing to see it hit you,” Spence stated on CBC’s All Points West.  Source – cbc.ca

Spence states workers will have full-time work till Jan. 31, largely to clean up the mill and protect assets. After that, they will have to either go on employment support or look for distinct work. Severance, as per the mutual agreement, won’t be paid out till the firm chooses the closing is perpetual. 

Some of the operators might go to Paper Excellence’s other services in Crofton and Port Alberni; others might have to go outside.

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