UPM-Madison’s paper mill will be laying off some hourly workers. This is part of a cutback announced, as they plan to reduce production of paper for catalogs and brochures for two weeks, Jan. 24 to “on or about” the week of Feb. 9. In a letter to Maine’s congressional delegation, about the shutdown, Russ Drechsel, manager of the mill and president of Madison Paper Industries, did not disclose how many non-salaried employees are affected by the production cutback.

Drechsel wrote:

We regret having to take this downtime, but conditions in the U.S. market for supercalendered paper, combined with the increased energy costs we incur during the cold winter months, require us to reduce production.

The company took similar actions last year.

Drechsel complained about about Canadian officials giving subsidies estimated at more than $125 million to a competing mill in Nova Scotia. Subsidized competition from the Nova Scotia mill makes it difficult for the Madison mill to offer a competitive price, as it faces rising power costs during the winter.

According to the Bangor Daily News, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, said, “I intend to contact the Obama Administration about this and urge them to see if these Canadian subsidies are, in fact, illegal."