Mill faces cuts - The Powell River Peak
Powell River's paper mill will look much different in the future as the company plans for a leaner operation.
Brian Baarda, Catalyst Paper Corporation vice president and Powell River mill manager, said the company is discussing with its 690 employees what the Powell River division needs to look like. "We've done a lot of benchmarking of other sites and what we've seen is that other people are able to run a site this size with fewer people," he said. "Because of the economic times facing the industry, there have been mills that have gone to their employees for changes in wages or to local governments for reduction in taxes in order to survive."
The company has not announced any layoffs for 2007, but it has said it is cancelling the 37-and-a-third-hour work week and employees will be returning to a 40-hour week, said Mike Verdiel, president of Local 76 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers' (CEP) Union of Canada.
Workers went to a 37-hour workweek in 2001, after the kraft mill was shut down. Local 76 negotiated for the reduced hours in order to save jobs.