Georgia Pacific cuts 650 jobs at Port Hudson facility
Posted: Jan 10, 2019 02:48 PM CST
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 02:48 PM CST
PORT HUDSON, La. (WVLA) - (1/10/19) A lot of Louisiana jobs were lost today as Georgia-Pacific made the decision to get out of the communication papers business.
What that means is that 650 jobs at the Georgia-Pacific Port Hudson facility are now gone.
Along with those lost jobs, Georgia-Pacific said, "about 40 business and sales jobs also will be affected by this decision."
Georgia-Pacific cited a declining market as the reason for cutting jobs at the facility.
According to Georgia-Pacific, "the company will permanently shut down the communication papers machines, related converting assets, as well as the woodyard, pulp mill and a significant portion of the energy complex at its Port Hudson, Louisiana, facility."
Operation of the Port Hudson communication papers and pulp mill assets are expected to cease sometime in mid-March.
The American pulp and paper company is going to continue to back the Port Hudson mill.
The Port Hudson mill contains a consumer tissue and towel business which is flourishing.
“The employees in our printing and writing papers business have worked diligently to support the business, and in recent years we have invested significantly in our operations. We have ultimately decided that the required investment to sustain the operation long-term, coupled with the declining market, is not viable,” said Mike Adams, president – GP PRO and Communication Papers. “We will be working closely with our printing and writing customers during this time of transition.”
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released this statement about the loss of jobs at Georgia-Pacific:
Today, Georgia Pacific announced the closure of its communications paper division and the wood yard, pulp mill, and energy complex that support its operations. This will result in the layoff of 650 workers at the Port Hudson plant. We were extremely disappointed to learn that hundreds of hard-working men and women who reside in East Baton Rouge Parish will be without employment as a result of this closure.
Our priority now is to assist those who were affected by the layoffs. I am calling a meeting of stakeholders including BRAC, EmployBR, LED and the Louisiana Workforce Commission as well as officials from Georgia Pacific to map out a plan of action. The results of those conversations will be forthcoming.
In addition, EmployBR will initiate its Rapid Response (RR) program alongside the Louisiana Workforce Commission as a result of the layoffs. RR’s purpose is to respond as quickly as possible to a dislocating event in an effort to provide information and assistance to impacted employers and their employees.
Louisiana State Senator Regina Barrow also commented on Georgia-Pacific's decision:
“I am shocked and saddened by the news this morning that Georgia Pacific is planning to lay off more than 600 employees in March. I am in touch with state and local officials, union representatives and company officials to make sure that everything that can be done is done to provide the needed support for these workers and their families. It is my understanding that the company’s decision was based on declining demand for paper products, such as copy paper, etc. I know many of these families personally and we need to make sure that government and the community come together to help everyone move forward.”
State Representative Barbara Carpenter added her thoughts on today's news:
“Today’s announcement that Georgia Pacific will lay off 700 people at its Port Hudson paper mill is disappointing news for many families in the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish.
The layoffs are especially disheartening for the many people of the area who continue to recover from the devastation of the 2016 flood.
I will work with Georgia Pacific to ensure they offer every available opportunity to use their extensive resources to help those affected by this closure. I am already working with the state Workforce Commission to make sure these workers have all the aid and assistance available in these difficult times.”