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Mayor tells mill workers to “keep the faith” amid paper machine shut down

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Catalyst Paper is shutting down its Paper Machine No. 11 for a three week period, starting next Monday.

Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa has said there are no planned layoffs because of this, and speaking with 95.7 Coast FM, he said UNIFOR, the union representing the workers affected, will be pushing hard to resolve issues surrounding fibre shortages and American tariffs.

“I do believe we should see some form of direction coming from the company moving forward, but really we (the City of Powell River) are here in a supportive role,” Formosa said.

“The curtailments have not even started yet, but we do know the curtailments were aimed at Powell River for Catalyst (Paper) and the reasons were that our site is the one most affected with the high 28.7 dumping fees. We were the mill that took the hit for the curtailments.”

He said the province is working to resolve the issue, but that it was unfortunate that Powell River’s mill had to take that hit.

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“My message is don’t lose faith,” he said.

“We have to rely on the company to fight back to join forces with all the allies they can gather. Just go down, do your job and do the best you can.”

He said the situation right now calls for workers and the community to keep the faith and do whatever can be done to support the right to work, the right to make paper and to combat the Trump administration-imposed anti-dumping duties.

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