Northern Pulp workers finish final shifts as plant put in 'hibernation'

Northern Pulp Mill

The majority of the approximately 230 unionized workers at the Northern Pulp mill finished their final shifts on Friday, with 60 employees remaining to put the Nova Scotia factory into "hibernation."

Don MacKenzie, the president of the Unifor local, says many of the approximately 170 laid-off workers were permitted to head home early on their last day.

He said some are bitter about the mill shutdown, believing the provincial Liberal government has created an unnecessary economic crisis.

Northern Pulp moved to mothball the mill after its plan for a new treatment system that would see it pump treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait was rejected by the province last month.

Premier Stephen McNeil said his government wouldn't extend a Jan. 31 deadline to stop the flow of effluent into a lagoon near Pictou Landing First Nation.

Last week a ministerial order allowed for some effluent, warm boiler water, to continue until late April, as part of an "orderly shutdown," of the facility.