Stora Enso Offers New Labor Contract in Port Hawkesbury

June 12, 2006 - Stora Enso on Saturday presented union representatives with a new contract offer in an effort to end a six-month labor dispute at its mill in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia.

Details of the offer were not disclosed, but union spokesman Don MacKenzie confirmed the offer will be presented to the union's membership.

"We put some long hours in there this week," said MacKenzie. It's a very tiresome process."

Workers have been locked out since January in a dispute over wages, the use of sub-contractors and the company's recovery plan. The mill has been idle since December.

The company recently announced that it would shut the mill permanently if a labor agreement isn't reached by June 24.

"Acceptance of the offer is another crucial step towards reopening the mill in Port Hawkesbury," Stora Enso spokesman Tor Suther said in the statement.

Stora had previously demanded a 10 per cent wage rollback, which the union has said is unacceptable.

Stora has already brokered a deal for a seven-year, $65-million land-for-cash swap with the province, along with lower tax rates from the Municipality of Richmond.

The company has also requested reduced electricity bills from Nova Scotia Power, the province's privately owned electric utility.

Stora Enso said that even with a new labor agreement in place, it won't reopen the mill until it reaches a deal on power rates.

SOURCE: Industry New Reports

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