Verso Paper's Sartell, Minnesota, mill to permanently shut down PMs Nos. 1 and 2, which make SC paper, on Dec. 14, resulting in phaseout of jobs for about 175 workers by this year-end, says mill manager

LOS ANGELES , December 13, 2011 () – Verso Paper Corp. is permanently shutting down two of three paper machines at its mill in Sartell, Minnesota, this Wednesday, and nearly 175 jobs will be phased out by Dec. 27, said the mill’s manager, reported the St. Cloud Times on Dec. 12.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based paper producer had announced the closures of PMs Nos. 1 and 2, which make supercalendered papers, and the reduction of the mill’s workforce, in October.

Fewer than a dozen of the 175 employees slated to lose their jobs because of the machine shutdowns will remain after the first of next year, said Mill Manager Pat Gibney, according to the article, which was carried on sctimes.com.

Assistance for the laid-off workers, which include 29 salaried employees and 146 hourly workers represented by the United Steelworkers union, include benefits through the state’s Dislocated Worker Program.

The Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council (SBETC) expects to hear before the end of the week on its application for a US$350,000 grant from the Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development.

In addition, Verso Paper has requested help through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which will provide worker benefits beyond those expected through the SBETC, if it can be proven that the layoffs were at least partly caused by foreign competition, said Gibney, the St. Cloud Times reported.

The primary source of this article is the St. Cloud Times, St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Dec. 12, 2011.

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