Kruger pension vote clears air for workers
A union official is pushing to see the financial fate of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper determined before, he says, too much irreparable damage is done.
Late last week, Kruger employees and retirees agreed to give the newsprint producer more time to repay money to its pension plan.
But the company is still facing numerous challenges.
Bruce Randell, the president of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers union local, said the prolonged uncertainty over the mill's future is having a negative impact.
"We are losing people, you know, every week," he said. "I've been losing talent and the future of the mill [is affected]. So we've got to hurry up and find a quick solution."
The company still needs to reach a new contract with some of its workers and put together a long-term viability plan before the provincial government will consider more financial support for the troubled mill.
But Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley said he is feeling more optimistic about the situation. He said he is confident those pieces will fall into place.
"The future of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper ... looks a whole lot better today than it did two and a half months ago," he said.
Most of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper's unionized workers in June accepted a concessionary contract. The pension agreement was the key part of leftover business, although chairman Joseph Kruger warned workers that the company still needs to conduct a review of the money-losing mill's viability.