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Wickliffe Mill Lays Off Workers & Plans One Week Shut Down
WICKLIFFE, KY May 7, 2009 – Wickliffe Paper Company LLC in Wickliffe, Kentucky, a subsidiary of NewPage Corporation, announced today a workforce reduction that will eliminate approximately 16 salaried and 36 hourly positions at the Wickliffe mill. After these reductions the mill will employ about 470 people.

             The Wickliffe mill is also planning to take market-related downtime for a one week period, beginning on May 21. The entire mill will be down with a small crew of employees assigned to maintain essential operations during the outage. All other employees will have the choice of taking vacation or time off without pay during the one-week period.

            “To proactively ensure the Wickliffe mill remains competitive, the mill’s production costs must be reduced,” said company spokesperson Sandra Wilson. “This staffing reduction is one action among many being taken.”   Additional initiatives to address the recent cost inflation in raw materials, wood, chemicals and energy are also being implemented.

            The workforce reductions will occur over the next several weeks depending on position and function. The reductions will be spread over nearly all operating areas throughout the mill.

            As part of the restructuring, Rick Watro has been appointed to manage the mill effective immediately. “The mill has a tremendous workforce that I believe, coupled with new leadership, will be very successful,” said Mark Lukacs, vice president, Fine Paper Operations. “Rick brings many years of experience to his new role as Wickliffe mill manager. As a recent Lean Six Sigma deployment champion, his skills will be invaluable to bringing the best out of this facility and the people who work here.”

            "These actions reflect the company’s determination to manage our operations effectively and efficiently in order keep the overall business competitive and sustainable for the long term," stated Wilson.

            NewPage hourly employees are union workers.

          About NewPage Corporation- Headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, NewPage Corporation is the largest coated paper manufacturer in North America, based on production capacity, with $4.4 billion in net sales for the year ended December 31, 2008. The company’s product portfolio is the broadest in North America and includes coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered, newsprint and specialty papers. These papers are used for corporate collateral, commercial printing, magazines, catalogs, books, coupons, inserts, newspapers, packaging applications and direct mail advertising.

            Through its subsidiaries, NewPage owns paper mills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nova Scotia, Canada. These mills have a total annual production capacity of approximately 4.4 million tons of paper, including approximately 3.2 million tons of coated paper, approximately 1.0 million tons of uncoated paper and approximately 200,000 tons of specialty paper.

 

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