By JESSIE SMITH
Domtar Corporation shut down one of two paper machines in the Ashdown mill on Oct. 3, which will affect 79 employees. The closure follows a decline in the market for uncoated freesheet paper, according to Tammy Waters, Domtar manager of communications and government relations for Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas.
“We don’t know which individuals are going to be impacted until we can start downsizing discussions with our union partners,” Waters said. “We began those discussions with union leadership pretty much immediately, and those are ongoing right now.”
The Ashdown mill still operates one paper machine and one fluff pulp machine, according to the news release published by Domtar on Oct. 3. The mill employs about 725 people in Ashdown, and Waters said 79 will be affected by the closure of the paper machine.
Waters said they will communicate with the employees as soon as the discussions are complete and they have more information. Domtar also plans to shut down a paper machine at the mill in Port Huron, Michigan, by mid-November.
Jana Smith, director of the Little River Chamber of Commerce, said they were saddened to hear about the closing of the Ashdown paper machine and the impact to the employees.
“The mill has always been important to the local economy, and despite this announcement, the chamber is confident they will continue to be viable for years to come,” Smith said. “The chamber is commitment to supporting Domtar, as well as all of our other industry and business partners within the county.”
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