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McKinley Paper Co., Local Union Agree to Labor Contract at Port Angeles Mill, Start-up Date in Question

Port Angeles paper mill in Washington

June 11, 2019 (Peninsula Daily News) - McKinley Paper Co. has reached agreement with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 155 on a new labor deal that will be in effect once McKinley opens its Ediz Hook paper mill, company and union officials said Monday.

The question remains when the plant will begin production of containerboard out of 100 percent recycled cardboard.

The mill was owned by Japanese-owned Nippon Paper Industries USA and manufactured paper and newsprint when it closed in March 2017, leaving 150 workers without jobs.

It was purchased by McKinley in April 2017 for $20.6 million, including a biomass cogeneration electric plant that cost Nippon $91 million to build.

Greg Pallesen, president of the Portland, Ore.-based AWPPW, and McKinley General Manager Edward Bortz said Monday that the company and the AWPPW reached an agreement last week when the local union voted for a new contract.

“It's good for the community up there and the entire region,” Pallesen said.

“It's similar to the previous agreement,” he added.

Pallesen said 14 employees have been working at the plant under an existing labor agreement to keep it maintained since the closure.

“We anticipate adding [about] 120 employees to current staffing once the mill is up to full operation,” according to McKinley's shoreline substantial development permit with the city of Port Angeles.

Bortz would not comment Monday on the labor pact beyond confirming that McKinley and the AWPPW had signed an agreement.

Further details on the agreement were unavailable Monday.

McKinley had announced plans to reopen in December 2018 before having to discard the goal.

Then, officials announced last September the mill would reopen this September.

The facility might still open in September, but the window widened last week, according to Bortz.

The full story is available on Peninsula Daily News' website: McKinley Paper Co., local union agree to labor contract.

SOURCE: Peninsula Daily News

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