International Falls paper mill to cut about 300 jobs


Another Minnesota paper plant announced it was shredding jobs on Thursday. Idaho-based Boise Inc. announced it will close two of its four paper machines at its International Falls mill, resulting in 300 jobs being permanently eliminated, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

The Mesabi Daily News reported the number was a bit lower: 265 workers to be permanently laid off by Oct. 1. About 580 workers will remain at the plant after the layoffs, that publication reported.

The company had bad news in its first-quarter financial report: It lost $1.2 million from January through March, a dramatic fall in just one year after reporting net income of $21.3 million for the same period in 2012, the News Tribune reported.

"We understand the impact this decision has on our dedicated employees, as well as the community of International Falls. We appreciate their efforts and support over the years," Alexander Toeldte, president and chief executive officer, said in the report.

The downsizing will likely have a ripple effect in 6,400-population International Falls and through the Koochiching County economy, the News Tribune notes. The company in 2010 celebrated 100 years in the paper industry.

Recent months have not been kind to the logging and paper industries. Economic pressures have been forcing the closure of paper mills across the Midwest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes.

In February, Wausau Paper Corp. announced it would close its mill in Brainerd and put 130 employees out of work.

Verso Paper Corp. shuttered its facility in Sartell last summer after a deadly explosion and fire on Memorial Day.

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