Tembec, Union, Agree to New Labor Pact, Will Restart Chetwynd Pulp Mill

Dec. 15, 2009 - Tembec yesterday said that negotiations for a new collective agreement with CEP local 448 representing workers at its Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada high yield pulp mill have been successfully concluded.

According to Tembec, the new agreement will be for a term of five years and was reached following what the company termed "very straightforward negotiations."

Tembec also indicated that, with this new agreement in place and market conditions for pulp improving, the Chetwynd mill would restart in January.

"This is an important agreement for all parties associated with the Chetwynd mill. The last couple of years have been extremely challenging for the pulp industry and, while we are seeing positive momentum relative to demand and pricing, the stability that this five year agreement will bring is critical for employees, suppliers and customers," said Yvon Pelletier, executive vice president and president, Pulp Group.

"With this agreement in place and with the ongoing support from the majority of our key suppliers, it is our intent to restart the Chetwynd mill in January and have it ramp up to full production by February," Pelletier said.

"The company appreciates very much the very straightforward and business like approach to negotiations taken by our employees and their elected representatives. The discussions were tough, but were also focussed and realistic, and the outcome will be good for all stakeholders," Pelletier added.

The Chetwynd mill, which produces high yield pulp and has an annual capacity of 240,000 tonnes, has been shutdown since February of this year due to market conditions.

The mill employs roughly 160 people, of whom 115 are covered by the new collective agreement. The mill also provides employment for 35 First Nation workers through their company, Three Nation Ventures.

SOURCE: Tembec

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