IP Continues Massive Layoffs

STAMFORD, CT—Only weeks after announcing that 3,000 jobs would be eliminated from its domestic work force, International Paper reported that it would be letting another 655 employees go in a move that coincides with the plan to indefinitely shut down production capacity of 670,000 tons within its containerboard and coated papers businesses.

Three paper machines at its Savannah, GA, mill and one at its Hudson River mill in Corinth, NY, will be shut down indefinitely. The shutdowns will result in reductions of approximately 610,000 tons of the company’s U.S. containerboard capacity (12 percent) and 60,000 tons of its coated freesheet capacity (7.5 percent).

“These are difficult decisions impacting mills with a significant history for our company,” stated John Dillon, International Paper chairman and CEO, in a release. “However, the strong dollar has continuously weakened our export business in containerboard while increasing imports of coated paper. We are committed to matching our production with customer demand. Shutting down these machines will allow the two mills to optimize remaining assets to better satisfy our customers.”

About 290 jobs will be eliminated at the Savannah mill and 225 will be cut from the Hudson River mill. The other 140 layoffs are a result of an internal reorganization of International Paper’s Forest Resources business, based in Savannah. The reorganization will see five regional forestry operations consolidated into three. The two eliminated operations—one in Savannah, the other in Shreveport, LA—will leave regional operations in Jackson, MI; Georgetown, SC; and Augusta, ME. Forest Resource’s headquarters will still be located in Savannah.

In late June, IP announced it was eliminating 3,000 jobs from its U.S. work force, which would take place over the next 12 months through a streamlining of the company’s staff support functions, as well as by organizational changes within several of its operating businesses.

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