Tuesday deadline looms in Verso Paper layoffs

SARTELL, Minn. (AP) — Some employees at Verso Paper have until Tuesday to decide whether to accept a retirement package or be laid off by the end of the year.

Verso Paper said last month it planned to lay off 300 employees and permanently shut down three of its paper machines at mills in Maine and Minnesota. The company cited soft demand for coated papers and rising materials costs. One-hundred-75 employees will lose their jobs at the Sartell mill.

Union leaders say that once those eligible for the retirement package make a decision, they’ll know what members will be affected by the layoffs.

The St. Cloud Times says that of the 175 employees, 146 are hourly workers represented by the United Steelworkers Union and 29 are salaried employees.