NewPage Corp. announces plans to reduce workforce

ESCANABA – NewPage Corp., owner of the paper mill in Escanaba, has announced the lay-off of 300 employees company-wide.

According to Jackie Pride, communications and public relations manager at the Escanaba NewPage facility, NewPage is reducing personnel costs by approximately 5 percent across all seven of its locations.

Of the company’s 6,000 employees, 300 positions are being eliminated. NewPage will also reduce its non-personnel costs by $20 million in specific areas.

The decision comes as a result of the declining demand in the paper industry and trying to ensure the business has long-term sustainability, said Pride.

She noted the specific number of positions impacted at the Escanaba location is not being released at this time. However, an undisclosed number of salaried positions were eliminated this week.

During the last 1 1/2 years, hourly positions in production have been impacted and the company expects that the number of hourly positions will continue to gradually decrease.

“While this is difficult news, NewPage continues to be committed to operating its U.S. businesses with an undiminished focus on providing customers with exceptional service and high quality products, running safe and efficient operations, providing employees with a healthy and safe workplace where they can learn and grow, and being a responsible and supportive community member,” said Pride.

NewPage emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2012 with a strong balance sheet, she added.

“We were able to meet all of the goals set forth when we entered bankruptcy,” said Pride. “We maintained important relationships with customers and vendors, reduced the debt and interest burden, eliminated the financial burden of Port Hawkesbury and emerged as a strong, stand-alone company ready to compete and win.”

The Escanaba mill employs approximately 1,050 people, according to NewPage’s website; the company is headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, and has facilities in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Kentucky.