RUMFORD — Two recently shut down sections of NewPage Corp. are expected to come back up by the first of the year, an official said Wednesday.
Sharon Burgess, vice president of Local 900, said Wednesday morning that management told union officials last week that long log and ground wood would start up at 50 percent capacity.
Long log unloads logs from delivery trucks and ground wood chips up the logs, which are then sent to No. 10 and No. 15 paper machines. No. 10 machine was temporarily shut down in mid-September and remains down, while No. 15 began operating full time a few weeks ago and the No. 12 machine continues its production.
The two wood mill sections will require between 30 and 35 people, she said. They were shut down in January as a means to save on costs.
"We're happy that something good is happening," Burgess said.
The positions of about 105 people were slated to be eliminated earlier in the year, but so far, about 33 people have actually lost jobs. Burgess isn't sure whether all 100-plus positions will be eliminated with the anticipated start up of ground wood and long log.
Mill spokeswoman Janet Hall could not be reached for comment.
The local mill has experienced a series of temporary layoffs, voluntary time off, and machine shutdowns during the past year or so because of the volatile paper market. Laid off employees have qualified for federal training programs. The current number of employees stands at about 800.
The Ohio-based company has reduced production at its other mills in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Nova Scotia.