Clearwater Paper to Restructure Tissue Mill; Layoffs Expected to Begin in May According to Documents
Mia Carlson

Clearwater Paper to Restructure Tissue Mill; Layoffs Expected to Begin in May According to Documents

LEWISTON, ID - Upwards of 100 employees at Clearwater Paper's tissue mill could face layoffs beginning this spring due to industry competition according to company officials.  An email from Lewiston Mill Manager Donnie Ely says the tissue operations will be restructured to "align with current market conditions."

"We are taking this important and necessary step to address the reduction in conventional tissue volume, which is a result of increased competition in the consumer tissue industry," Ely wrote in the email.

"Part of this restructure will include employee reductions with approximately 80 to 100 positions affected by eliminating some full-time jobs and also through attrition," Ely adds.

Layoffs are tentatively expected to begin in May.

Ely added that the company is working with the union through this process and will provide more specifics at a later date.

"For now, we want to share with you the actions we are taking to ensure we remain a successful company for decades to come," Ely says in the email.

The company's spokesman, Shannon Myers, says the employees who are laid off will receive assistance.

"We're working through all that information with the union right now and then we'll have more information about impact and timing, and just more details at a later time," Myers says.

Union officials had met with the company yesterday to begin bargaining a new contract but officials instead notified them that they were not going to proceed with the process "but instead notified us of Effects bargaining as a result of lower budgeted production levels at CPD converting next year and beyond," according to a letter from the local presidents of United Steelworkers 608 and United Paperworker International Union Local 712.

"We understand the magnitude of this announcement and the impact it has on the affected members," the presidents added.

The unions are meeting with company officials this week to begin working through the details of the restructuring, they say.

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