Smurfit-Stone Layoffs Extended Again

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

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

Starting today, the company is also no longer paying its share of their health insurance premiums.

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

They’ve been idle since Thanksgiving.

And Smurfit-Stone recently filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

This is the 4th time the return date has been pushed back.

It was originally supposed to be January 2nd.

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