GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — UPM Blandin plans to close down one of its two remaining paper-production lines in northern Minnesota, resulting in the loss of 150 jobs.

Company officials said Tuesday that Blandin will permanently shut its older “Machine 5” in Grand Rapids by the end of the first quarter in 2018. About 150 workers will be affected. Layoffs are expected to begin immediately.

Union officials say the “Machine 6” production line inside the same mill is expected to keep running and retain its staff of about 140 hourly workers.

The Star Tribune reports the cutbacks are part of a larger corporate downsizing that includes layoffs at two plants in Germany.

A UPM Paper ENA official says the demand for graphic papers has been declining, and is expected to continue to decline.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.