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Union Officials: Rumford Mill Restructuring Could Lead To Over 120 Layoffs

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press
Steam billows from the former Catalyst Paper Mill in Rumford in this February 2018 file photo.

Union officials at Rumford's ND Paper Mill are concerned about a new restructuring plan that they say could lead to hundreds of layoffs.

Gary Hemingway, the president of USW Local 900, says mill workers were informed last week that more than 120 workers could lose their jobs as part of a plan to move away from producing lines of paper for printing and writing, as the company says demand has "plummeted" during the pandemic.

An ND Paper spokesperson declined to offer specific details of any potential layoffs. But Hemingway says the changes could have a substantial impact on the state's paper manufacturing workforce, particularly with other mills in Maine laying off workers earlier this year.

"I just don't see where the area can sustain the amount of jobs that are going to be needed for all these people to go to," Hemingway says. "Another few years down the road, we would have had a lot of retirees and stuff like that, by that time. So we're going to get hit pretty hard."

In an emailed release, ND Paper officials say that the changes will position the mill for a "competitive future" and provide access to larger, more stable markets.

The company expects to finish the transition by the end of the year.