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Sappi North America to cut jobs

Sappi Fine Papers North America told employees Tuesday the company was cutting 5 percent of its workforce, including both hourly and salaried employees.

The company did not issue a public statement or release numbers for each of its North American locations.

Cloquet will lose a total of 27 hourly positions, according to USW Local 11-63 President Brady Nelson, who hastened to add that the job losses will come entirely through attrition.

“The company assured us that those would be done through attrition, so nobody’s going to get laid off,” Nelson said, adding that both unions (USW and NCF&O) would begin “effects bargaining” as soon as they got a date. (Effects bargaining takes place anytime there is a reduction in hourly workforce that is represented by a union.)

Union committee members were told about the cuts at a morning meeting with Mill Manager Mike Schultz, then Sappi North American President and CEO Mark Gardner sent an email announcement to all the company’s North American employees.

All of Sappi North America was expected to lose a total of about 60 hourly and 50 salaried positions, the email said.

The Cloquet mill employs over 700 people currently.