New owner to buy International Falls paper mill

Packaging Corporation of America is in the process of buying an International Falls paper mill now owned by Boise Cascade. International Falls, a northern Minnesota border town, has relied on the paper business for all of modern memory. The move will not affect the previous announcement of several hundred layoffs at the plant as a major product line is shut down.

“Electronic replacement” is the term used by a company official to explain why the paper business is in such rough shape. What “The Office” showed in fictionalized Scranton, PA, International Falls is living out in real life. As the mayor points out in this WDIO story, even with the layoff of 265 people, the paper plant remains the largest employer in the city and all of Koochiching County.

The mill is used to ownership changes, but in today’s climate change like this can sometimes bite workers and communities. It remains to be seen how this will affect future labor negotiations, pay and production.

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