Smurfit-Stone Layoffs Extended Again

One of Ontonagon County’s largest employers is struggling with layoffs a while longer.

Most of the employees at the Smurfit-Stone Container mill in Ontonagon won’t return to work until April 1st.

The layoffs affect about 150 people, which is two-thirds of the mill’s work force.

They’ve been idle since Thanksgiving.

And the company recently filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

This is the 3rd time the return date has been pushed back.

Smurfit-Stone was originally going to bring everyone back at the start of the year.

Then it was moved to February 1st, followed by March 1st.

The company says demand for cardboard packaging products fell dramatically in the last quarter of 2008 and hasn’t recovered.