Nova Scotia

Bowater mill to lay off managers

Non-unionized staff members are being laid off from the Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. in Brooklyn, N.S.
Non-unionized staff members are being laid off from the Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. in Brooklyn, N.S. (CBC)

Non-unionized staff members are being laid off from the Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. in Brooklyn, N.S.

Pierre Choquette, a spokesman for Resolute Forest Products, told CBC News on Friday that non-union jobs are being cut as part of the mill's restructuring plan.

He would not say how many people will be affected.

Resolute Forest Products, the parent company of the Bowater Mersey paper mill, said the lay-off process is ongoing and will not be complete until early next week.

The company had threatened to close the mill if its employees and the province couldn't help it come up with a plan to survive.

Last month, unionized workers voted for a new collective agreement that eliminates 80 unionized full-time jobs and also includes a wage freeze. The company also got a three-year discount on electricity, though it asked for five years.

Then last week, the provincial government threw Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. a $50-million lifeline over the next five years to keep he paper mill afloat.

The deal includes a grant of $25 million to help overhaul the newsprint-making process.

Bowater will also use the money to pay down debt and for energy efficiency upgrades that will save between 10 and 12 per cent per year on power, and $5 million a year will be forgiven from its loan if it maintains its operations.

Another $1.5 million is to retrain Bowater's workers over two years.

The opposition criticized the move as a Band-Aid solution and have said it's not fair to taxpayers and other businesses to address the province's economic problems one company at a time.

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