IP – Profit Over People

Dogwood Alliance response to the announced closure of three mills…

“When we look at global economic conditions today, it appears the worst is behind us,” CEO John Faraci said in late July.

The worst may be behind for IP shareholders and CEO John Faraci, but that is not the case for IP workers. Last week, announced the impending closure of three of its mills in the United States – Franklin, VA, Pineville, LA, and Albany, OR. Our hearts go out to the workers and all of their families in this tough situation.

It is not the goal of Dogwood Alliance to close down paper mills and displace workers. To the contrary, it is our belief that the long-term survival of the US paper industry is closely tied to its ability to compete in a marketplace that is increasingly demanding environmental and social accountability. The Franklin, Pineville and Albany Mills could have been a model for the 21st century but instead failed under the 20th century mentality of one of the biggest dinosaurs in the paper industry – .

We have been aware for many years now that IP, driven by short-term profits, has never taken the long-term interest of local communities, workers or the environment to heart. Instead, the use it, abuse-it mentality still prevails at the corporate headquarters of IP.

The Franklin, Albany and Pineville mills are closing even as IP receives ever-growing taxpayer handouts. For more about those subsidies, go here. Meanwhile, CEO John Faraci continues counting his ever-growing pile of money.

According to the Corporate Library, as reported on CNN Money and various other outlets, John Faraci is one of the top five most overpaid CEOs in the U.S. He was paid over $38M in 2008, including receipt of $21M in pension payments though he is still full-time with the company. You can see the story here.

Pitting the environment against local communities is creating a false dichotomy. The real problem is not the organizations and local communities working to protect their forests; it’s the profit over people business mentality of companies like IP.

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