IP confirms layoffs at box plant

Published 6:54 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Approximately six months after International Paper took over the Bogalusa paper mill and box plant from Temple-Inland and three months after company officials joined Gov. Bobby Jindal in announcing a $44 million investment at the facility, IP confirmed that it laid off “less than 20” of its box plant employees.

IP Spokesman Scott M. Sauer said the layoffs are due to transportation and shipping expenses.

“Following the merger with Temple-Inland, we have had to make tough business decisions as we consolidate our operations,” he said. “In order to take advantage of freight synergies, the decision was made to remove some capacity from the Bogalusa plant and move it to other IP facilities that are better positioned to handle our customer’s needs.”

The reduction in force leaves “just under 100” employees at the box plant, and pretty much closes down one shift.

“The workforce will operate on two shifts, with the exception of one machine, which will remain on a three shift operation,” said Sauer.

IP additionally employs more than 400 people in its Bogalusa paper mill.

Sauer said the adjustments are simply a part of the business process.

“Bogalusa is a strategic asset for International Paper,” he said. “The site remains a key part of our team of 70,000 IP workers around the globe. We will have adjustments to the business as we move forward. This is a normal course of business for large-scale manufacturers.”