RUMFORD – NewPage Corp. spokesman Tony Lyons confirmed Monday evening that about 250 mill employees face a nearly four-week shutdown.

Lyons said the market-related shutdown is scheduled to begin on Dec. 8 and run through early January.

He said employees who work on the No. 15 machine will be affected. Local 900 president Gary Hemingway estimated the number of employees who will be laid off at between 250 and 270, and include people working in long log, ground wood, and part of the mobile garage as well as the paper machine.

“We didn’t expect this until the first of the year,” said Hemingway. “We do expect that people will be back to work sometime in January.”

Lyons said the overall mill administration in Ohio announced its intention for a market-related lay-off earlier this month that would reduce the amount of light weight, coated ground-wood by 40,000 tons.

The Rumford mill isn’t the only mill affected. Several others in the NewPage family will experience lay-offs.

Hemingway said local employees should sign up for unemployment as soon as the lay-off takes affect.

He said the mill has been operating fully during the past few months, but lost a couple of large orders and has been warehousing paper.

“This will be tough on the employees and on the community,” he said. “Everybody is in upheaval.”

He said other mills in the state are also experiencing downtime, including Verso in Bucksport and SAPPI.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.