November 14, 2019 – 11:15 AM
Our members are proud to participate in the reopening of the Nordic Kraft pulp mill in Lebel-sur-Quévillon, officially announced on November 8.
“What is happening in Quévillon is no small feat,” explained Unifor Quebec Director Renaud Gagné. “Imagine restarting a mill that’s been shuttered since 2005. Even though it wasn’t dismantled for its metal, it’s easy to understand that time and the elements have affected the facility,” he added.
“I’d like to highlight the fact that we devoted a great deal of time and energy over the past few years to various projects aimed at getting this mill back up and running. Today, we are extremely proud and pleased that this project is finally moving forward,” said brother Gagné.
In April, the members ratified a new collective agreement with wage conditions comparable to those negotiated in other pulp mills such as the Saint-Félicien facility owned by Resolute Forest Products.
“We weren’t able to talk publicly about the reopening before the official announcement because there were still some loose ends to tie up,” said the Quebec Director.
Unifor has long advocated for the need to develop new niche markets for the use of forestry products – a renewable resource – in order to ensure the future not only of jobs in the industry, but also of entire regional communities that depend on it for their livelihood. In that sense, the Nordic Kraft projects corresponds exactly to what the union has been demanding for so long.
The mill is scheduled to start producing pulp in 2020. Ultimately, it is expected to provide jobs for hundreds of Unifor members. Local 1212 currently represents about 100 members who are working on recommissioning the mill’s production equipment.