Cascades to Close Norampac Trenton Containerboard Mill

Cascades' Norampac Trenton (Ontario) mill is scheduled for closure no later than June 1.

April 12, 2012 - Cascades today said that it will close its Norampac containerboard mill located in Trenton, Ontario.

Nearly 130 employees will be affected by this closure.

Following the rejection of the final offer made to the employees regarding the new collective agreement, the closure of the mill will be effective no later than June 1, 2012, Cascades said.

According to Cascades, difficult negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement took place from May 2011 to March 2012 between Norampac's management and the CEP union, following which the two parties were unable to come to an agreement.

"We are deeply disappointed that the Norampac-Trenton employees have turned down a positive and reasonable offer," said Marc-Andre Depin, President and CEO at Norampac.

On Tuesday (April 10), about 100 members of Local 1470 of the Communications, Energy and Papermakers Union (CEP) "overwhelmingly" rejected company demands, a union official told QMI Agency.

Ontario region CEP Vice President Dave Moffat said in a statement to the local newspaper The Trenton Trentonian, "They wanted significant concessions in a new collective agreement. Those concessions are too deep to accept.

"They have told us if we don't accept significant concessions they will consider closing the facility," said Moffat — a measure the company has now taken.

Loses Continued Despite Recent Investments
The Trenton mill in June 2009 received $3.3 million to construct two high-efficiency wood residue boilers ($1.5 million from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and $1.8 million from the Forest Sector Prosperity Fund) and in October 2010, the mill received $83,000 from the Government of Canadaís Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program to improve the energy efficiency of the millís existing paper machine by upgrading its capacity to capture and redirect energy for other uses within the mill.

"Despite substantial investments made by Cascades/Norampac to help increase its profitability, the Trenton mill has incurred significant losses over the years. These losses, combined with unacceptable labor relations, have left us with no other choice but to close the mill," Depin added.

Cascades noted that the mill's closure will inevitably generate financial losses for the local forest industry — losses that are estimated to $9.5 million — considering the Trenton mill is an important customer of local wood suppliers.

The Norampac Trenton facility produces corrugating medium and has an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons.

Norampac, the containerboard division of Cascades, is the largest containerboard producer in Canada and the 6th largest in North America. Norampac is also a major Canadian manufacturer of boxboard, corrugated products and foldingcartons in Canada.

SOURCE: Cascades and The Trenton Trentonian