Gorham paper mill restructuring, cutting staff

Last modified: 1/4/2014 12:19:55 AM
Gorham Paper and Tissue mill announced yesterday that it is temporarily restructuring and cutting staff.

Sudden, extreme increases in New England’s natural gas prices are forcing the temporary restructuring of its papermaking operations, the company said. The mill plans to operate only one or two paper machines on a regular basis for the rest of the winter, Chief Executive Officer Michael Cummings said.

The mill uses natural gas to generate steam used in the papermaking process.

“We can’t run paper machines when production costs exceed prices for our products,” Cummings wrote in an email to state officials.

He said it is too soon to tell how many people will be laid off but estimated it would be between 20 and 50 workers. Other workers will experience intermittent, weeklong layoffs based on the mill’s production needs. Staffing levels will be re-evaluated based on gas prices in the spring, he said.

Gov. Maggie Hassan instructed state officials to work with affected employees.

“I encourage the company to strongly consider any options that could reduce the number of potential job losses,” Hassan said in a statement.

She said she is working with New England governors on improving the regional energy prices.

“I will continue working closely with all of our partners to identify ways to build a stronger, more reliable energy future for New Hampshire,” Hassan said.


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