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Irving Tissue to Shut PM 1 at Fort Edwards Mill

April 5, 2006 (Press Release) - Irving Tissue [on March 31] said that it will shut down its #1 paper making machine effective April 10, 2006. The #1 paper making machine (PM#1) dates back to 1946 and produces approximately 12,000 (metric) tons per year. Irving Tissue's #3 paper making machine will continue to run at full capacity. In total, 18 hourly and 5 salaried people out of a total workforce of 320 will be impacted.

"This decision has been especially difficult because of the dedicated employees that will be impacted," said Robert Irving, President of Irving Tissue.

"The difficult reality is that there is not a viable business case to support the continued operation of this outdated and inefficient 1946 machine. While the shutting of PM#1 makes the best business sense, we sincerely regret the impact this shutdown will have on 23 of our employees. In a tightly knit community like Fort Edward, our co-workers are also our neighbors. We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of this shutdown by offering other placements, where available, to qualified candidates as well as assisting employees in their pursuit of new employment opportunities," Irving said.

The hourly employees impacted by this decision will have recall rights. In addition the company will be contracting outplacement professionals to assist those hourly and salaried employees who would like help with resume writing and preparing to secure other employment opportunities.

Since acquiring the mill in 1996 Irving Tissue has invested in both people and state-of-the-art technology to ensure the ongoing competitiveness of this operation in a fiercely competitive global market. Capital investment at Fort Edward has exceeded $90 million in the last 10 years, growing the production of quality tissue products from 456,000 cases to 8 million cases in 2005. In addition, the company has grown the workforce from 140 to over 300 in the past 10 years. For the community of Fort Edward this has meant a 150% increase in payroll that is generated in the county and local community.

The Irving Tissue facility at Fort Edward produces Scotties brand consumer products and private label tissue products for the U.S. market. One paper machine will continue to run, along with our current converting assets. The company also operates Canadian plants in Saint John and Dieppe, New Brunswick and in Toronto, Ontario.

SOURCE: Irving Tissue




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