A 'perfect storm': Stora Enso Lockout in Nova Scotia
By CHARLES SPURR
CEP is charging that Stora is refusing to respect the Eastern Canada pattern of contract. It is the norm in the pulp and paper industry that when old contracts are ended, the first contracts to be negotiated set a pattern that the others are expected to follow.
At the rally in March, CEP reported:
Bernd Rettig, chairman of the Port Hawkesbury board said, "The financial position of Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury needs to improve quickly and the parent company needs to know that the business fundamentals make sense over the long term." (Cited in Dow Jones Newswire, March 29, 2006.)
A financial report from Morningstar.com on Stora's 2005 performance says:
"In North America print advertising is forecast to remain healthy. However, increases in postal rates may have some negative impact on the growth in magazine and catalogue markets, and only modest demand growth is anticipated in magazine and coated fine paper. A further decline in newsprint demand is predicted. Prices are expected to remain firm in magazine and coated fine paper, and to improve in newsprint."
The operation in Nova Scotia involves the production of newsprint as well as magazine and calendar paper.
The same report also says:
The CBC has an online report on the Canadian pulp and paper industry in which they describe the present climate as "a perfect storm" quoting some trade unionists. The reasons for this, they say, are:
"The industry is being pummelled from three directions: by international economic trends, provincial policies and changing technology. Any one of the factors would have been disruptive; coming together, they are remaking a key Canadian industry -
This struggle is not restricted to Stora or Nova Scotia but is Canada-wide and even world-wide. Clearly the company is focused on maximizing its rate of profit and, to do so, it will attempt to extract tribute from anybody -- its employees, its suppliers, its customers or government who may make contributions "on behalf of taxpayers" under the pretext of "making Nova Scotia competitive."
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