Temiscaming, Quebec, Canada, 14 December 2009 -- Tembec today announced that negotiations for a new collective agreement with CEP local 448 representing workers at its Chetwynd, British Columbia, high yield pulp mill have been successfully concluded. The new agreement will be for a term of five years and was reached following what the company termed “very straightforward negotiations”. It was ratified over the weekend by what the company understands to be a large majority of the membership. Tembec also indicated that, with this new agreement in place and market conditions for pulp improving, the Chetwynd mill would restart in January 2010.
“This is an important agreement for all parties associated with the Chetwynd mill. The last couple of years have been extremely challenging for the pulp industry and, while we are seeing positive momentum relative to demand and pricing, the stability that this five year agreement will bring is critical for employees, suppliers, and customers,“ said Yvon Pelletier, executive vice president and president, Pulp Group. “With this agreement in place and with the ongoing support from the majority of our key suppliers, it is our intent to restart the Chetwynd mill in January and have it ramp up to full production by February,” he said.
“The company appreciates very much the very straightforward and business like approach to negotiations taken by our employees and their elected representatives. The discussions were tough, but were also focused and realistic, and the outcome will be good for all stakeholders,” Pelletier said.
The Chetwynd mill, which produces high yield pulp and has an annual capacity of 240,000 metric tons, has been shutdown since February of this year due to market conditions. It employs roughly 160 people, of whom 115 are covered by the new collective agreement. The mill also provides employment for 35 First Nation workers through their company, Three Nation Ventures.
Tembec is a large, diversified and integrated forest products company and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. The company’s principal operations are located in Canada and France. Tembec’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TMB and warrants under TMB.WT. Additional information on Tembec is available on its Web site at www.tembec.com.