CLOQUET (AP) -- Sappi Ltd. reached an agreement with loggers and truckers who were refusing to bring wood to the company's pulp and paper mill in this northern Minnesota town because of a dispute over prices.
Sappi has agreed to take into account the high prices that loggers have been paying for timber, providing that the timber was purchased before May 1.
The Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota announced the decision Thursday.
The settlement ended a 23-day protest by loggers who said Sappi unfairly lowered wood prices after buying the Cloquet paper mill from Potlatch Corp. earlier this year.
Jerry Birchem, a logger who organized the protest, said Sappi offered two types of contracts.
One is for timber, or stumpage, that was purchased before May 1. Loggers will be reimbursed the price they paid for the timber plus the costs of logging and trucking it.
The second contract is for timber purchased after May 1. The company will pay about $62 to $67 per cord for that wood.
"What they're offering now, for prices after May 1, is comparable to what we were receiving from Potlatch," Birchem said.
Sappi spokesman Blois Olson said "it's a workable solution for both sides."
The loggers and truckers association, which could recommend a protest but couldn't legally organize a boycott, encouraged loggers to again deliver wood to the Cloquet mill.
Sappi Ltd. is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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