70 positions to be phased out at Espanola Domtar plant, but union says it's good news
Workforce at plant to go down from 500 to 430 by 2023
Domtar is cutting 70 jobs from its Espanola paper mill, but the union sees it as good news.
The company will be modernizing its plant over the next three years, while reducing the number of pulp lines and batch digesters.
Domtar, which declined to give CBC an interview, expects there will be no layoffs, with a larger number of workers set to retire in the coming years.
"As we prepare for the future, we are simplifying the mill by consolidating the fiber production line from two to one bleach plant, and reducing batch digesters from five to three to improve the mill's sustainability over the long-term," reads the statement from Domtar.
Joanne Lamothe, the president of Unifor Local 74 representing 300 of the 500 employees at the Espanola mill, says while some are focusing on the job losses, she sees this as Domtar investing in the future.
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"If anything it secures our jobs, it sustains the economy in this area and really lets the community know that it has a future, as well as the employees," she says.
"I think one of the biggest things is when a company says it's going to invest in you and that gave us such a positive outlook to know that we're being looked at to be invested in, to have a future."
Lamothe says the changes, expected to be complete by 2023, will also allow the Espanola mill to focus on the growing market for specialty recycled paper products, particularly as the world moves away from single use plastics.