The owners of the Pixelle Specialty Solutions paper mill in Jay said they are reducing staff by another 67 workers as of Wednesday, six months after a digester exploded and stopped pulp manufacturing.
The company already laid off 59 people in July and 51 in September. After Wednesday’s reductions, 279 staff will remain at the mill, down from 468 at the time of the April explosion, a Pixelle spokesperson said.
“No one foresaw, wanted or caused the rupture that led to these unfortunate reductions of valued team members,” said mill manager Eric Hanson, adding that those leaving will get compensation, benefits and job placement help.
The reductions in Jay continue as the mill reconfigures its staff to manufacture paper rather than pulp following the explosion that destroyed the pulp operation. The mill was able to restart two paper machines only one week after the explosion.
Hanson said the mill expects to complete remediating the damage to the site, determine the root cause of the explosion and develop a long-term plan by the end of this year.