Dear Editor: What’s there not to like about the idea of co-operation.
The Western Star’s front page article on Monday, Jan. 23, and headlined “Marshall says mill can survive co-operation key to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper’s future: Finance minister,” makes entirely good sense, providing co-operation does materialize among all involved.
There was a previous failure to recognize that a lack of co-operation held potential for a negative impact on the mill’s future.
That was when Kruger wanted to find out whether it was feasible and practical to burn stockpiled used tires to help cut their energy requirements.
That would have brought more efficiency and might have kept the cost-cutting focus off the mill’s higher than average labour costs.
It’s a shift of emphasis that might have been avoided if it wasn’t for stubbornness on the part of some overly-sensitive, unrealistic people at the time when options other than job cuts were being considered.
Where were provincial government members, city council and the reasonable public from the entire surrounding area then?
Certainly they weren’t in a co-operating mood and willing to downplay the selfish notion that a little smoke was too much to tolerate in order to accommodate a vital, long-standing industry which provides well-paying, permanent jobs.
Now, with options limited and jobs at stake, the region is destined to bear the brunt of a desperate employer fighting for survival by making operations leaner on the manpower front.
It’s unfortunately become a lot bigger deal.
Now, without a game plan and the time of reckoning at hand, suggestions of co-operation appear to be the sum total of what decision makers are prepared to offer, rather than concrete action.
What can be done, I don’t know, but it goes without saying that total co-operation is essential in reaching any satisfactory conclusion and delivering a timely response.
In closing, may I suggest that sooner rather than later is the time for affirmative action, before this area’s economy suffers the same fate as Stephenville and Grand Falls-Windsor paper mills.
All concerned should get on the ball, and to the best of our combined efforts, ensure our great paper mill remains in good standing, subjected to no more downsizing and remains here for the long haul.
After all is said and done, we owe our best efforts to those who might work there in the future, those employed now ... and all those workers of the past who figured in the company’s success and the development of this great region we all call home.
Melvyn (Lou) Smith, Christopher’s Cove, Summerside, Bay of Islands