East Millinocket, ME – Great Northern Paper (GNP), announced Thursday that it must temporarily lay off employees as it continues to work on restructuring mill operations and lowering production costs toward its goal of restarting the mill. GNP temporarily stopped manufacturing on January 23 due to the current high costs of production combined with lower market prices for its products.
GNP spokesperson Scott Tranchemontagne said, “We understand this temporary work stoppage will be difficult for employees. This is a different course than expected when we began to restructure, but it is a necessary step. We continue to work diligently on addressing fundamental operational issues that must be overcome for GNP to restart and remain viable over the long term.”
A total of 212 employees are receiving temporary layoff notices Thursday. Forty four employees will continue to work on cost reduction initiatives and keep needed systems running smoothly to allow for a production restart.
Tranchemontagne noted the successful start of Thermogen Industries in nearby Millinocket is critical to GNP’s long term viability.