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Workers laid off as Baikal paper mill gradually halts production

September 18, 2013, 7:06 UTC+3
More than 250 staffers are ready to resign voluntarily
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IRKUTSK, September 18 (Itar-Tass) - Dismissals begin at the Baikal pulp and paper mill which gradually halts production, mill’s bankruptcy supervisor Alexander Ivanov told Tass on Wednesday.

According to him, more than 250 staffers are ready to resign voluntarily. The others - about 500 people - will be dismissed on grounds of redundancy, he said. Earlier reports said the dismissed staffers of the pulp and paper mill would be entitled to the dismissal wage of five monthly payments. An average salary at the mill is 21,000 roubles.

The decision on staff reduction was made at a meeting of creditors at the end of July. All in all more than 750 out of 1,500 workers will be sacked, including 100 specialists of pension age.

The Baikal pulp and paper mill is the city-forming enterprise in the city of Baikalsk with the population of 15,000 people. There are no alternative major productions in that region. It has the Gate of Baikal tourism and recreation zone in which two residents are registered.

The Irkutsk authorities reported this week that they were ready to begin retraining the sacked specialists using budget funds. According to the mill’s trade union, the Irkutsk heavy machine plant, the Selenga pulp and paper mill in Buryatia and the Tikhvin carriage works in the Leningrad region consider job applications of mill workers.

The mill was commissioned in 1996 and almost immediately scientists and ecologists launched a movement to protect the unique Baikal Lake. The decision on stage-by-stage halt of production was officially voiced only in February 2013.


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