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Lagging demand leads to cuts at Wausau Paper


BROKAW, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau Paper has laid off 16 workers because of a continued decline in its print and color paper sector.

The Mosinee-based company said eight workers were laid off from its Brokaw paper mill and corporate office. The other eight employees worked for Wausau Paper's national sales organization based outside of Wausau, according to director of investor relations Perry Grueber.

“We have no choice but to think and act differently if we are to survive in this new and more challenging environment,” Brokaw general manager Jeff Verdoorn said in a July 12th letter to all Brokaw employees.

WSAU News received a copy of the letter by mail from an anonymous sender this week. Grueber confirmed the authenticity of the letter but said it was intended for internal use. He declined further comment.

Verdoorn said the layoffs were necessary despite closing a mill in New Hampshire and a converting center in Appleton and making millions in investments to the Brainerd paper machine and the Brokaw mill.

Verdoorn said the company will flex its operating schedule and work Saturdays when demand allows.

“A significant opportunity also exists to improve our viability by increasing operating efficiencies and by reducing workmanship errors,” Verdoorn said. “Attention to detail and focusing on properly executing what we can control will be critical.”

Wausau Paper will release its second quarter earnings results on Monday. Company officials will hold a webcast to discuss the earnings and current market conditions Tuesday at 10 a.m.


Editor's note:  The story has been updated with a copy of the letter received by the news department.  According to Wausau Paper director of investor relations Perry Grueber, the letter is factual.  But he said the 33 positions cited in the letter are actually roles that have been eliminated from the print and color sector of Wausau Paper.