UPM-Blandin to temporarily idle Grand Rapids paper mill

PHOTO: UPM-Blandin

The UPM-Blandin paper mill in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, will temporarily shut down. The idle is expected to last into May. WDIO reports that union officials believe it will be at least two weeks.

Like the shutdowns of nearby iron mines, this shutdown is the result of lagging demand from the general slowdown in the world economy.

The Blandin mill is the iconic heart of the Grand Rapids cityscape, a driving force behind the town’s history. But recent decades have been unkind to the paper business, and by extension the Blandin mill.

The facility changed ownership a couple times, ending up with the Finnish company UPM. The mill downsized in recent years and puts out about half its peak output. But at about 400 employees, Blandin remains the biggest single employer in Grand Rapids and a vitally important customer for Itasca County pulpwood. 



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