Smurfit-Stone Preparing for Ontonagon Shutdown

For the second time in less than a year, one of Ontonagon’s largest employers is getting ready to shut down and lay people off.

The Smurfit-Stone Container mill shuts down the paper machines today.

It’s part of the draw-down process involved with shutting the mill down this Saturday.

Most of the more than 200 employees have only been back at work since late May.

They’d been locked out since last Thanksgiving during another shutdown.

That shutdown happened for the same reason the company gave for this one — weak market conditions leading to low demand.

Smurfit-Stone has said they’ll look at the situation again by mid-October.

At last report, some of the details were still being worked out.

How many people will keep working at the mill this time, and how much in unemployment benefits everyone else will receive, are still up in the air.