Domtar decision to shut down Espanola mill took Unifor rep by surprise

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
September 7, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

Domtar’s decision to indefinitely idle its Espanola pulp and paper operation took Chris Presley by surprise. The president of Unifor Local 74 was ushered into a meeting with plant officials at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning and informed of the news. A corporate release hit the business newswires shortly afterwards. “Absolutely not,” said Presley, when asked if he had any advanced warning of Domtar’s decision. “It was completely out of the blue.” …Presley said the move could “cripple” the community that’s hosted a pulp and paper plant since the early 1900s. Domtar acquired the mill during a takeover of E.B. Eddy in 1998. The union local was in negotiations for a new contract, the previous collective agreement having expired on May 22. A strike vote was taken, but Presley said his membership wanted to work with the company “as much as possible” even with the future of the mill in doubt.

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