Mercer International Inc. has announced that, after conducting a comprehensive assessment, its Celgar mill intends to reduce its workforce in order to improve its competitiveness with other pulp producers. The planned reduction will affect both hourly and salaried employees. The workforce reduction is expected to involve approximately 85 employees over the next five years, with the majority of employees to be affected over the next 12 months.
This action is being taken to make a substantial reduction in fixed costs by bringing personnel levels more in line with other mills operating safely and productively around the world. "It is essential for the long term viability and sustainability of the Celgar mill that it maintains a competitive cost structure compared to other producers in the face of ever increasing costs and other challenges. A competitive cost structure is also essential to attract the necessary investment capital required to continue to modernize the mill and participate in growing bio-economy opportunities," says Mercer's President and Chief Executive Officer, Jimmy Lee.
The Celgar mill will continue to operate with an annual capacity of approximately 520,000 air-dried metric tons of market northern bleached softwood kraft pulp and plans to employ approximately 370 employees when the workforce reduction is completed at the end of 2017.
Celgar will take appropriate measures to assist employees affected by the workforce restructuring in accordance with applicable agreements, policies and legislation and offer early retirement incentives for senior employees.