Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Drop paper demand: the PFR plant in Kénogami will be shut down during the holidays

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The Resolute Forest Products plant in Kénogami has more than 200 workers.

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The Kénogami plant of Produits Forestiers Résolu (PFR) will be shut down from December 22 until January 3, due to a decrease in demand for paper. A little more than half of the employees will, however, be able to remain on the job during the production interruption.

They will be able to carry out maintenance work and attend training. We have also made vacation arrangements and other accommodations to reduce the impact on the workforce, which means that we believe that the impact will be relatively minimal, estimates Louis Bouchard, Senior Director, Business. public and government relations at PFR.

A meeting is planned for Tuesday with the factory workers' union to determine how the few days of break will take place and which employees will be impacted.

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The president of the National Union of Pulp and Paper Workers of Kénogami , Gilles Vaillancourt.

We will prepare to minimize the effect as much as possible and try to get as many people working as possible during the shutdown. Our main job will start on Tuesday, indicates the employee representative, Gilles Vaillancourt. He says the team members are disappointed, but were prepared for the news, having met with plant management last week to discuss the plan. a possible shutdown.

In an ideal world, we wouldn't stop. But here, we have no choice.

A quote from Gilles Vaillancourt, president of the National Union of Pulp and Paper Workers at the Kénogami Factory (CSN)

According to PFR, the temporary shutdown was necessary. Demand for paper is falling. For example, orders for certain specialty papers, particularly for printing books, have reportedly fallen by 16 and 28 percent, depending on the grade. This is what Louis Bouchard says.

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ELSE ON INFO: Ministerial exams scheduled for January in Quebec are postponed< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This year, it is particularly strong because of the pandemic phenomenon, during which customers created a lot of inventory [without selling it]. We have a double impact of that this year. Our responsibility is to follow this very closely, he adds.

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Louis Bouchard, director of public affairs and government relations at Resolute Forest Products.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Kénogami plant must therefore idle at times. Employees have already faced eight interruptions this year. The one that will begin on December 22 turns out to be the ninth.

According to PFR, it is not impossible that 2024 will also be punctuated by breaks in the paper manufacturing, whether in Kénogami or in another of its facilities. However, she believes she is doing everything possible to limit the impact on the workforce.

It is not excluded that there will be other stops. But in all these cases, the first thing we focus on is finding adjustments in working hours so that we can keep our people employed, says Louis Bouchard.

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PFR's Kénogami plant is in its ninth week of production interruption this year.

Unsurprisingly, union members are concerned.

We definitely have concerns. […] We're going to cross our fingers and we're going to work so that it doesn't close anymore, but it's not us who dictate the market either. We are at our mercy, confides Gilles Vaillancourt. in the sand either, orders are decreasing.

A quote from Gilles Vaillancourt, president of the National Union of Pulp and Paper Workers at the Kénogami Factory (CSN)

The union maintains that solutions must be put in place. In the short term, we will focus on making the best quality product possible to compete with our competitors as best we can. But subsequently, we would need to have investments to be even more competitive, puts forward the workers' representative.

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