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SMART Papers Workers Return to Jobs Following New 4-Year Labor Pact

Press release from the issuing company

HAMILTON, Ohio--June 20, 2002--SMART Papers LLC, one of the nation's largest privately held producers of premium printing papers, said more than 420 hourly workers will begin returning to work this morning following approval of a new four-year labor agreement. "This long-term contract brings stability to our company, our employees and our customers," said SMART Papers CEO Tim Needham. "Management and the union worked together to develop an agreement which, in light of today's economy, balances wages, benefits and work flexibility so our company can successfully compete in the domestic and global premium paper markets." "We've consummated a well-grounded contract which improves our long-term financial standing and delivers important new value to our customers," Needham added. "We greatly appreciate the mutual dedication that has gone into the last 13 months of negotiations." Members of the Paper Allied-Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers Local 5-1967 voted Wednesday to return to work. "This is a deal that ensures SMART Papers is among the most competitive producers of premium coated and uncoated printing papers in the global marketplace for years to come," said SMART Papers COO Dan Maheu. "Equally important, we believe the pay and benefit package is fair and allows for important operational performance improvements." Hamilton, Ohio-based SMART Papers was founded in February 2001. With more than 550 employees and production capacity of more than 140,000 tons per year, it is one of the nation's largest privately held producers of premium coated and uncoated printing papers. The company is the leading manufacturer of cast-coated papers. SMART Papers sells its products to paper distributors and specialty paper converters worldwide. Key brands include Kromekoteplus, Knightkote Matte, Benefit, Carnival, All Purpose Litho and SMART Digital Papers. The papers are used in everything from high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and books to direct mail, greeting cards and consumer products packaging.

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