Burgo Ardennes mill suspends production amid Covid-19 concerns


Pulp, paper and packaging industry in Europe is feeling the effects of coronavirus pandemic as it is looking to guarante health and safety of employees.

Italy’s Burgo group has suspended pulp and paper production at the company’s woodfree coated paper mill in Belgium. Production at Burgo Ardennes woodfree coated paper mill was temporarily halted until 30 March 2020 “in order to guarantee the health and safety of its employees and in line with the latest indications from the Belgian authorities,” the group announced on 20 March.                                      

On 19 March, just a day before the announcement on the temporary closure of the Ardennes fine paper mill in Virton, a company spokesperson explained to EUWID, that operations and order situation at all company’s mills were at regular levels, but that the group was closely monitoring the situation.

Burgo responding to employees' concerns

Belgium’s public-broadcasting organisation RTBF reported on the situation at the Burgo Ardennes pulp and paper mill on different occasion over the last days. RTBF was giving space to employees’ concerns amid the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Belgian region bordering France’s Grand Est, and increasing number of illness-related absences at Burgo Ardennes plant, including proven cases of Covid-19.

With the decision to shut down operations until 30 March Burgo was responding to rising criticism among employees who were denouncing the lack of staff and security at Burgo’s pulp and paper mill in Virton, the trade unions explained. “It was agreed to take a break of several weeks in order to put in place measures to protect and disinfect the installations," said Franck Baillieux, regional secretary of FGTB in an interview with RTBF.

"It's certainly not a happy decision for a factory like Burgo to stop, but it was made in the interests of the workers. The economic aspect is important but in view of the crisis we are experiencing, strong measures were necessary," the FGTB regional secretary stated in another interview with RTBF.

The Covid-19 desease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and the restrictions taken by businesses and governments in order to limit the Covid-19 disease spread, are reducing economic activity in Europe, and are are expected to have a strong impact on many industrial segments. EUWID Pulp and Paper is keeping you up-to-date with latest news and developments in the recycling, pulp, paper, packaging and printing industries across Europe.

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