IP: April 15 last day for paper machines

Published 7:12 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

International Paper Co. will permanently shut down the two remaining paper machines at the Franklin mill on April 15.

“It is possible for that date to change, but barring something unforeseen April 15 will be the final day of operation for the No. 4 and No. 5 paper machines,” said Franklin Mill Manager Ted Lewellyn.

According to Franklin Mill Communications Manager Desmond Stills, the majority of the workforce at the mill will be released sometime between April 15 and June 30.

“During that time, employees will work to secure and preserve equipment and to process and ship out the remaining inventories of paper at the mill,” Stills said.

Previous reports indicated that groups of IP employees would be laid off about every two weeks beginning with 19 workers on April 4. Most of the mill workers will reportedly be gone by July 1.

Carroll Story, president of Local 1488 of the United Steelworkers of America, said earlier this month that there are currently about 700 hourly and 110 salaried workers at the mill. He said a large group, perhaps 300 workers or more, would be laid off in mid-May about one month after the paper machines are shut down.

About another 250 workers would be retained for the converting, roll finishing and sheet finishing processes at the mill and would be among the last jobs phased out, Story said at the time.