Nfld. & Labrador

Dunderdale hopes to keep Corner Brook mill open

The Provincial government says it is working with the owner of the Corner Brook paper mill and the unions that represent workers there to find a way to keep the facility open.

Dozens of workers laid-off this month

Dozens of employees at Kruger's paper mill in Corner Brook lost their jobs in February. (CBC )

The Provincial government says it is working with the owner of the Corner Brook paper mill and the unions that represent workers there to find a way to keep the facility open.

The paper industry is struggling worldwide but Premier Kathy Dunderdale believes the Kruger mill in western Newfoundland has an advantage that others don't.

"The people in Corner Brook want that mill to continue, Mr. Kruger wants that mill to carry on. We certainly do and we are all prepared to work together to find solutions," she said in Corner Brook Friday after two days of cabinet meetings there.

Dunderdale said she understands that it is difficult to deal with layoffs at the mill but she also said she understands why the mill has to make changes that may hurt some people.

"They're going to run their operation in consultation with the union on how they can manage their operations here in Corner Brook so that they can compete and compete globally because that's what they need to do," she said.

Dunderdale said Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy has been in touch with the mill on a weekly basis trying to help out.

Provincial NDP Labour Critic Dale Kirby was also in Corner Brook last week.

He met with some of the union leaders representing mill workers.

Kirby said the provincial government has talked about helping mill workers but it hasn’t been clear about what it will actually do.

"The government has said it's committed to the mill, and they said that to the workers and they really appreciate that, but the government really hasn’t said much about what specifically it plans to do."

The Kruger mill is the last paper making facility in this province. Mills in Grand Falls-Windsor and Stephenville have already closed.