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Kruger increases salary at Trois-Rivières plant in Quebec, Canada, signs 4-year agreement with Unifor

CANADA (News release) -- Unifor announces the conclusion of a historic agreement in principle between the employees at the Kruger facility in Trois-Rivières and the company's management, putting an end to the strike that began on May 30, 2024.

Union members overwhelmingly approved the agreement at ratification meetings held throughout the week. This new four-year collective agreement marks a major milestone for employees, with unprecedented wage increases and substantial improvements to benefits, vacation, pension and the introduction of an overtime bank for production employees.

The salary increases are spectacular: from May 1, 2024, employees will benefit from an 8% salary adjustment and an additional 3% increase. In 2025, wages will be further increased by $1.30 per hour. For 2026 and 2027, employees will receive a guaranteed increase of 2.25% or more, depending on the pattern in effect.

Kruger's Trois-Rivières Mill has been producing an extra high-performance, 100% recycled linerboard since the spring of 2017.

Konraad Dullaert has been appointed Executive Vice President for Food and Consumer Packaging division and Chief Innovation Officer effective June 19, 2024. He continues as a member of the Executive Management Team. He succeeds Mark Ushpol, who will pursue his career outside Ahlstrom, as previously announced.

Konraad joined Ahlstrom in 2023 as EVP for Science, Innovation and Sustainability. In his new role he will continue to lead Ahlstrom's global innovation agenda in addition to leading the global Food and Consumer Packaging business.

Konraad has a proven track record in leading global businesses in the engineering plastics division in Royal DSM, and he has held senior executive leadership positions in Covestro and Royal DSM. He has extensive experience in leading large-scale business transformations and driving sustainable growth by working closely with customers and other stakeholders.

The Food and Consumer Packaging division has the ambition to lead the transition from single-use plastic to more sustainable packaging, leveraging new barrier solutions and high-performance materials that are safe and sustainable by design. Innovation of new packaging applications is a key driver of the growth in the business.

"I'm excited to take on the responsibility to lead Food and Consumer Packaging division, which plays a key role in Ahlstrom's growth transformation, while continuing to drive Ahlstrom's global innovation agenda. With our specialty solutions, we contribute to the global trend of safe and sustainable packaging. We see ample opportunities for innovation and growth in this area and are well positioned to co-create the next generation of fiber-based solutions together with our customers," says Konraad Dullaert.

"Konraad has extensive experience in leading businesses and driving growth and innovation. His leadership style combines an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep customer focus, and combined with his background in specialty materials and chemicals, he is well positioned to help us accelerate our ambition to grow in food and consumer packaging and become the preferred sustainable specialty materials company," says Helen Mets, President and CEO of Ahlstrom.

Following the change, Wouter Hut, Chief Procurement Officer, has been appointed as EVP, Procurement and Sustainability as he will assume the responsibility for the overall sustainability agenda for Ahlstrom. This move continues to highlight the growing importance of the enterprise leadership required in Ahlstrom's sustainability work.

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