Temporary layoffs confirmed at Appleton Coated, unclear how many

Appleton Coated LLC in Combined Locks, August 22, 2017. (WLUK/Chris Bourassa)

COMBINED LOCKS (WLUK) -- The fate of some employees at a Fox Valley paper mill is a bit clearer Thursday. Some people have been temporarily laid off.

Appleton Coated's marketing manager, Ferko Goldinger, confirmed Thursday the company sent a letter to some employees but he did not say how many people will be temporarily laid off.

The letter, dated Sept. 20, said in part:

This letter will serve to inform you that you are being placed on temporary layoff effective Thursday, September 21st, 2017, unless schedule to day shift on that day or notified differently by your supervisor. We anticipate that the layoff will end by Saturday, September 30th, 2017. However, the exact length of layoff cannot be determined with certainty at this point and we will contact you by phone, email, or US mail to recall you from layoff.

It's unclear what company will buy Appleton Coated. The company is not named in court documents.

Workers said Thursday the news was unexpected but and they're trying to remain optimistic.

"We didn't realize that it was gonna happen this fast. We thought we might have a little time to get some of our orders out and supply our customers but that was, kind of, out of our control and out of our managements control," said Ron Kohl.

"We still need to stay pretty optimistic that somebody will still buy us to keep us open. We are a very modern, efficient paper mill with a lot of dedicated employees that feel the same way we do," said Jim Weyenberg.

"I think there's a lot of good people working here. I think there's a lot of hardworking people and they belong to this community and for somebody to step up and please keep this place going," said Haini Ufi.

Multiple creditors, some of which include utility and transportation companies, are named in the documents.

A hearing is scheduled Friday in Outagamie County court which could decide what's next for Appleton Coated. FOX 11 will be there.

According to the company's website Appleton Coated's products are used in high-end commercial printing, textbook publishing and paper labels.

About 620 people work at the mill.

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