Ránquil, Chile, 09 January 2012 -- Today, Arauco announced the reconstruction of the Nueva Aldea panel mill at its current location, in accordance with a project that is being studied.
“We know that the community, specially our workers and neighbors, expect us to rebuild these facilities, thus contributing to the development of the region and the commune, by recovering job positions that were lost in this regrettable event”, said Iván Chamorro, Arauco’s public affairs manager, regarding the fire that destroyed the Nueva Aldea panel mill.
It is estimated that the panel mill’s construction and future operation will take at least two years.
Arauco presented a labor plan to address the situation of workers and contract workers affected by the loss of the panel mill. This plan includes the following measures:
- Of the 661 operators, 237 who were directly affected will be relocated into other tasks, which is equivalent to 36% of Arauco’s personnel. These workers, half of whom come from Ñuble Province, will be relocated to the Arauco facility, Nueva Aldea power plant, Cholguan facility, administration tasks, and design work of the new panel mill project.
- A request was made to all of Arauco’s contracting companies to relocate the greatest number possible of workers into other tasks.
- Regarding workers that cannot be relocated, Arauco will not terminate their jobs using the force majeure clause, a legal figure that can be used in these situations. The application of this same measure was requested to all of the contracting companies.
- All the release documents will include severance pay for years of service, in addition to a month’s notice.
- In addition to having indemnity, Arauco workers will maintain their health coverage (Health Insurance Institution and additional health insurance) for the next three months, as well as educational scholarships for one whole year for workers who had been assigned this benefit. Debts to the company for housing and loans related to the 2010 earthquake will be canceled.
- The company has provided an infield team of professionals that will be in charge of delivering career orientation to workers and contract workers, to ensure their quick incorporation into other work activities. This team is comprised of psychologists that will provide support and guidance.
- A training program is being developed, as a joint effort with the Chilean Labor Ministry, to provide workers with better tools to enter into new job opportunities.