April 20, 2018
Oregon pulp and paper workers and various activists will be holding a picket on April 24 demanding that WestRock, owners of the Newberg paper mill, make the idled property available for sale to buyers who would restart the mill.
The Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) are taking aim at WestRock’s decision to stop production just two weeks after buying the mill in 2015.
WestRock looks to sell the mill, but according to the AWPPW, will not sell to a buyer that would reopen it for production.
“WestRock buying their competitor’s plant sites then closing those very same plant sites then refusing to sell the sites to anyone who would restart the sites should be illegal; it certainly is not ethical,” reads the AWPPW statement. “WestRock is not a good corporate neighbour.”
Further alarming citizens and activists is WestRock’s initiation,
In January, WestRock acquired its competitor KapStone, which the AWPPW views as a move by WestRock to control supply.
“By closing mills it purchases… more towns (are) on edge over whether their economic livelihood is soon to be cut off,” states the AWPPW press release.
The AWPPW is affiliated with the United Brotherhood of the Carpenters & Joiners of America (UBC).
The AWPPW is a member of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, which is a grassroots coalition of labour, environmental, and human rights organizations working together to fight the expansion of NAFTA and NAFTA-style free trade agreements and promoting a positive vision for trade policy. It counts among its members the AWPPW and is an affiliate of Citizens Trade Campaign.