NewPage paper mill laying off workers

Jose Leiva/Sun Journal file photo

The NewPage mill in Rumford announced Tuesday that 45 people are being laid off as it cuts 5 percent of its workforce nationwide.

RUMFORD — Nearly four dozen local people will be out of work as NewPage paper company prepares to lay off 5 percent of its workforce nationwide.

Several workers on Tuesday said they were told the layoffs would begin at the end of the month.

NewPage announced in December that it had completed financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Officials at the local mill announced Tuesday that about 45 workers would be laid off. The layoffs will continue through April, a spokesman said.

Rumford Town Manager Carlo Puiia said he heard about the layoffs from a colleague who works at the mill. By Tuesday night, Puiia said, town officials were assessing the preliminary information and waiting to see what would come next.

"We'll wait and see what further announcements they come out with," Puiia said. "We're always concerned when any jobs get lost. It touches everybody in a town like this."

Puiia said the layoffs might have an impact on the town budget, but it was too soon to say what that impact would entail.

By the end of 2012, the Rumford mill employed about 700 workers. In November, the Sun Journal chronicled struggles at the mill and in Rumford as a whole.

The local layoffs are part of broader cutbacks. NewPage announced it will lay off 300 people in central Wisconsin. It is one of that state's biggest employers.

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Don't be Surprised

The town of Rumford best start looking at the big picture as for the future of this mill. The only way it could ever rebound is if they sell this mill to a company who will come in and diversify into other areas of paper making like paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates that there is still a high demand for. If this is not done don't be surprised at the that the longevity of this mill is short lived. The town has to make cuts this year before this town becomes a ghost town because people can't pay their taxes. Rumford voters have to step up to the plate and send the message at the polls that spending in all departments must be curbed now. We all know that department heads go in with inflated budgets and convince the powers to be that they can't make cuts but with true common sense know how they play the system . Some department heads use scare tactics about level of service cut backs would put them in danger. Hogwash! If jobs were performed better, services would be sufficient and still be safe.It is time for chage.

Tony Capola's picture

New Page Layoffs

I doubt there is anyone that doesn't feel horrible about the recent layoffs at New Page. News of this nature is all around us [Franklin Memorial Hospital and etc.] and there is more to come.

Now is not the time to abandon these people. "There, but for the grace of God go I" Who knows, maybe you will be next.

Our elected officials, those that we put in office, should be prepared to move heaven and earth to respond the our needs by making the necessary cuts to reduce spending and, at the same time, take the steps necessary to create and nurture the programs needed to help prevent these things from spreading even further.

The people we put in office have got to work TOGETHER to solve this very large and pervasive problem immediately. It’s not about bipartisan politics... it’s about people, you, me and our neighbors.


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