RUMFORD – All employees are back on the job at NewPage Corp., as the market-related temporary layoff ended Friday.

Tony Lyons, spokesman for the paper mill, said Monday that the normal operation of the No. 15 paper machine, ground wood and long log began over the weekend. About 50 maintenance employees also returned to work.

Just over 200 hourly employees were without jobs beginning Dec. 8. The mill had originally planned to layoff nearly 250 employees during the temporary shutdown but fewer than expected were off for the four weeks.

“We kept on additional people to operate equipment,” Lyons said.

The layoff was prompted by the loss of several large paper orders and the continued warehousing of paper.

The overall mill administration in Ohio planned to reduce the amount of light weight coated ground wood by about 40,000 tons. Several other paper mills in the NewPage company were affected by temporary layoffs.

Because the layoff was temporary, the seniority of employees didn’t figure into who lost or kept a job. If the shutdown had continued longer, then a first-in, first-out policy would have been applied.

Most employees were able to sign up for unemployment benefits during the layoff.

Lyons declined to speculate on whether additional layoffs will take place.

“We’ll continue to monitor the marketplace,” he said.

The mill employs about 1,000 hourly and salaried workers.

Another change at the mill as the new year began includes a new union president for Local 900.

Matt Bean, a former vice president of the union, took over the leadership from longtime president, Gary Hemingway.

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