Canadian Manufacturing

Catalyst Paper indefinitely idling B.C. paper machine; 50 jobs lost

Decision to curtail paper machine at Powell River, B.C., plant made due to lack of orders, according to Catalyst

RICHMOND, B.C.—Catalyst Paper Corp. said it is indefinitely idling a paper machine at its Powell River, B.C., plant due to a lack of orders, shedding 50 jobs along with it.

The Richmond, B.C.-based company said the decision to curtail the machine, one of three paper machines at the facility, was “fully market-related,” and is based on lack of demand.

The machine was temporarily shuttered Oct. 27.

“This is a difficult, but necessary decision that supports Catalyst’s commitment to align mill operations and production with market demand,” Catalyst president and CEO Joe Nemeth said in a release.

“We are committed to making the Powell River operation successful for the long term, and will be working with our employees, leadership and the unions on a plan to make improvements to secure our sustainability.”

Catalyst said the 50 jobs lost due to the decision will be spread across the Powell River plant and its distribution centre in Surrey, B.C.

The company said it will work with employees and union officials on “a transition plan to mitigate the impact of this decision.”

Catalyst’s decision comes less than two weeks after Resolute Forest Products Inc. announced plans to shutter a newsprint mill in Ontario and two paper machines in Quebec due to declining demand.

Unifor, the union representing workers at the Resolute mill in Iroquois Falls, Ont., said it is “actively working with others to find a buyer for the mill,” and is calling on the company to help protect the 180 jobs at stake there.

“The bottom line is that if this mill is permanently closed the local economy will be decimated,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in a statement from the union. “Resolute must cooperate fully with efforts to sell the mill.”

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