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Billerud's Escanaba Mill to temporarily layoff employees in October

WELLS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (From news reports) - A paper mill near Escanaba will be temporarily laying off an unknown number of employees during a planned maintenance outage beginning the first week of October.

Billerud said it is opting to idle its Escanaba Mill's paper machines during this outage due to a low demand for paper and inventory destocking. The company said it intends to take an additional week of market-related downtime following the maintenance to balance production with customer needs.

According to the mill, a number of employees will be temporarily laid off over the two-week period. Discussions are ongoing with unions and employees to minimize the impact to the fullest extent possible.

The number of affected employees is not known. The mill has more than 800 employees

Billerud also idled for four weeks this spring while health experts investigated the cause of a blastomycosis outbreak among mill workers.

The company is planning a $1 billion dollar investment in the mill, made possible by $200 million dollars in spending from the state.

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