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One hundred year old paper mill closure to put 385 out of work

By soome2000     Mar 21, 2007 in Business
The St. Mary's Paper mill in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario has been in business for over 100 years. It will close June 3, putting 385 people out of work.
St. Mary's paper has a rich history in Sault Ste. Marie.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario has a population of about 76,000. The major employers in the past have been Algoma Steel Inc.(ASI) and St. Mary's Paper. Generations of "Saultites" have been working for these companies through the years, the city's economy depended on these industries.
The media would have you think that, in short, St. Mary's Paper will be shut down because the union workers and the company cannot come to a agreement. Rising energy prices and the state of the forest industry are also to blame for the impending wind-down.
The Bank of America had been financing operations at the mill since it announced, on October 25, 2006, that it filed under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in Toronto. The mill has been attempting to restructure, but concessions by the workers are a major factor; the workers had already agreed to pension plan changes and roll-backs of pay to help save the company in the past.
Sault Ste. Marie city council had agreed to forgive St. Mary's Paper $386 thousand in back-taxes if it could reach an agreement with the workers. At last report no agreement has been reached.
Even though the two upper levels government have not stepped in to save the mill they will still have to pay for retraining, unemployment and pension short-falls. Three hundred and eighty-five people will be out of work, not to mention the spin-off economy. One would think that with that kind of money flowing anyway, maybe the plant could be used to produce paper out of recycled material, it seems like such a waste.
Will the future the St. Mary's be: to become a popular tourist attraction, or will it remain just another old factory on the waterfront?
More about Canadian, Union, Paper, Mill, Close