Letter writer researched IP history

Published 8:32 am Saturday, November 21, 2009

To the Editor:

I had the opportunity to meet Gov. Tim Kaine when he came to our paper mill in Franklin. I told him that we wanted to know why International Paper Co. was closing this profitable mill (over $200 million profit the last four years). He said that he wanted to ask this same question.

A little research shows that IP has bought just about every other paper company, including Union Camp, Champion, Weyerhauser, etc. They then shut down mills all over the country.

While all of this is going on, even though CNNMoney.com rates IP CEO John Faraci as the No. 4 “worst/most overpaid” CEO, Faraci has repeatedly been given pay packages worth millions annually. Even after the Securities and Exchange Commission sent letters to IP seeking more details on the pay of top executives, Faraci continues to receive these outlandish salaries as IP shuts down more American paper mills and moves operations overseas. Buy up the competition, shut down mills. Put American workers out of jobs, move overseas. Pay top executives outlandish salaries. This is the IP way.

I guess we were really naive to believe Faraci when he told us when he came to Franklin that as long as we stay profitable and competitive, there would always be a place in IP for Franklin. And icing on the cake is that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 Ethisphere Magazine named IP as one of the “world’s most ethical companies.”

David Johnson