BOSTON, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sappi Fine Paper North America has learned that, in a vote yesterday, the Cloquet Mill employees represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) have authorized their leadership to call a strike if it chooses to do so. "Even though such a vote is not uncommon, and does not mean a strike will occur, we are very disappointed in the membership's action, given our fair and competitive contract package," said Rick Dwyer, Managing Director, Cloquet, Sappi Fine Paper North America.
In addition to offering a very competitive package, Sappi is making a major commitment to the Cloquet site and its employees. The $170 million capital project to convert the pulp mill to specialized cellulose will help provide attractive jobs for years to come. At a time of so much industry uncertainty, including bankruptcies, mill closures and layoffs, we are disappointed that our employees would risk a potential strike over the highly competitive, total compensation and benefits package offered by Sappi.We are hopeful that our Cloquet employees represented by the USW, on reflection, will ratify the contract. However, in the event the Steelworkers strike, we will fully pursue our legally protected right to operate the mill, and supply our customers and are prepared to do so. About Sappi Fine Paper North America Sappi Fine Paper North America, known for innovation and quality, is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers and market pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its coated fine papers, with highly recognized brand names such as McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are used in premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. The company is also the world's leading supplier of release papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries, including the globally recognized Ultracast brand. Sappi's release papers provide the surface aesthetics for synthetic fabrics used in footwear, clothing, upholstery and accessories, as well as the textures for decorative laminates found in kitchens, baths, flooring and other decorative surfaces. An integrated pulp and paper producer, with state-of-the-art pulp mills, Sappi is the third largest seller of hardwood pulp in North America. Sappi Fine Paper North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (NYSE, JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na. SOURCE Sappi Fine Paper North America