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Crofton pulp mill to shut down following strike notice

Paper Excellence shutting down mill after impasse with union
The former Catlayst pulp and paper mill, acquired by Paper Excellence in 2019, employs 575 workers. | Submitted

Later this year, Paper Excellence had planned to shut down its papermill operations in Crofton, but maintain its pulp mill operations. But now the company says it will shut down the pulp mill as well, at least temporarily, after Public and Private Workers of Canada (PPWC) Local 2 served a 72-hour strike notice.

The pulp and paper mill employs 575 workers -- 370 on the pulp operations side, represented by PPWC, and the other 205 in the paper mill, represented by Unifor.

The company said it has been negotiating with the local since July 2022 in contract negotiations. PPWC Local 2 has been asking for wage parity with other pulp and paper mill workers in the province, according to the Canadian Federation of Unions.

"Those discussions have recently hit an impasse, and the company’s mediation request was rejected by the union," the company said in a news release. "The negotiations committee will continue to meet as they try to resolve the situation.

"To protect the health and safety of employees, the integrity of the local environment, and preserve the company’s assets at Crofton, Paper Excellence has begun a controlled and orderly shutdown of the kraft pulp mill and mechanical paper operations."

Earlier this month, Paper Excellence announced it would indefinitely shut down its paper mill in Crofton in December, citing declining markets and prices for traditional paper products. The company said it would maintain its pulp operations, however.

"Paper Excellence hopes for a speedy return to discussions and the restart of the Crofton facility," the company said.

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