IP mill plans to rehire 21 workers

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2000

International Paper’s Natchez mill is making plans to rehire 21 workers laid off last fall, said Human Resources Director Luther Dangerfield.

The rehire is necessary so the mill can increase production at the conclusion of a maintenance shutdown scheduled for this month, he said.

&uot;It’s good news for all of us,&uot; Dangerfield said. &uot;No one likes to see situations like that where there are people who want to work that can’t work.&uot;

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The plan follows the mill’s July 1999 decision to cut 94 positions, or 11 percent of its workforce, through layoffs, retirement and attrition of jobs were on the books but not filled. Those positions include the 21 now being discussed.

Dangerfield could not give specifics on the need to increase production.

&uot;I believe it’s competitive information, and it would give our competitors an advantage and we don’t want to do that,&uot; he said.

But mill analysts say they have seen signs in the market that indicate the change, he added.

The rehires were announced this week, and the development of the plan is still in a preliminary stage, Dangerfield said.

&uot;To locate people and get them back takes time,&uot; he said.

The mill should know more specifics in April, he added.

Tentatively, the mill’s shutdown is scheduled to run from around March 20 to 28. After that time, the mill will need the additional employees because of increase production.

&uot;When we come back from shutdown (the mill) will increase through-put,&uot; Dangerfield said.

There are currently 745 employees at the Natchez mill, Dangerfield said.