End of an era: West Linn paper mill to close, after 128 years

West Linn Paper Company announced Oct. 16 it is permanently closing its Willamette Falls paper mill, after 128 years of operation.

The closure means the elimination of roughly 250 jobs — and the loss of another piece of Oregon’s wood products industry. Formerly known as the Crown-Zellerbach mill, the site once employed 1,600 people, and millworkers were represented by the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers.  But the mill was sold to James River Corporation in 1986, and that company went out of business in 1996. When it reopened in 1997 as the West Linn Paper Company, the mill was nonunion.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much for posting this. I was working in the Grinder Rooms (in the world of Sam Runyan, Fred Garcia (Jiggerman), etc.) when they had the rebellion against the AFL-CIO in 1964 (?) and became a member of the new NW (?) Brotherhood of Pulp and Paper Makers – (a couple of the organizers, when they were trying to recruit me, said to me, “Listen, Kid, We’re not fooling around with you.”) For sure, though, I was astounded by the amount of the wage increase that followed. But, the other evening I had a sudden interest in seeing the plant, and the picture you posted here, which I am fortunate to have found, is wonderful. Thank you for doing this.

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