G-P to cut 85 hourly jobs at Monticello plant

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Eighty-five hourly jobs will be eliminated at the Georgia-Pacific mill in Monticello.

The loss of jobs comes as G-P restructures the mill’s operations in hopes of keeping it open.

Johnnie Carlisle, communications manager of the Monticello mill and a 30-year G-P employee, said the company doesn’t expect any plant shutdowns during the restructuring.

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G-P offered severance packages to salaried employees. Carlisle said through retirement packages and attrition, the company has trimmed an adequate number of salaried employees.

In a company news release, Georgia-Pacific officials said, “A large number of mills across the country have shut down, but the Monticello mill has an opportunity to embrace change and stay in business.

“Georgia-Pacific must focus on operating efficiency to achieve long-term survival and profitability,” the company said. “Over the past five years, the overall paper industry has not earned adequate returns for investors — public or private.”

Carlisle said the move will be in the best interest of the company in the long run.

“This is going to benefit the mill down the road,” Carlisle said. “The mill in Natchez closed, and we don’t want that to happen here.”

Carlisle said Koch Industries bought out the Georgia-Pacific corporation in late December, and many mills throughout the G-P family will be making adjustments, cuts and seeing improvements. Georgia-Pacific will retain its name, Carlisle said.

One change coming to the Monticello plant is automatic roll labeling equipment, which is already on order.

The Monticello mill produces linerboard for corrugated boxes. The linerboard comes off large rolls and is cut to customers’ orders.

The Monticello plant employs 555 employees — 419 hourly and 136 salaried.