Paper Tiger

| January/February 2000

In what's being called the largest union-led employee buyout in the Southeast, workers have purchased a Canton, North Carolina, paper mill and six other plants from Champion International. The $200 million stock purchase last May, which saved 1,600 jobs at the Canton plant, was backed by a New York investment firm and ratified by a 61 percent vote of union members, according to Southern Exposure (Summer 1999). As part of the deal, which had the support of government and local environmental leaders, the new owners pledged to invest in pollution control equipment designed to meet more stringent air and water quality standards.