International Paper employs more than 700 in Columbus County. Monday, the company laid off 130 of them for the rest of the week. A spokesperson for IP declined an on camera interview, but said the company would shut down one of its paper machines for the week because a lack of demand. Because of the shutdown, 130 employees will be out of work until Sunday. IP filed an Attached Claim for those effected by the shut down. That means employees won't have to file for unemployment during the temporary layoffs. ESC Director, Charles Garrett said the attached claim is a silver lining for the employees. “Normally, in a case like that, you really have good workers that you don't want to lose. So by your filing they can actually still be eligible for the unemployment without having to go out and seek employment elsewhere, he said. The ESC requires a 1-week waiting period before anyone receives unemployment benefits, so unless workers have filed unemployment in the past year, they will not be paid for the week. Employees with vacation time can use the days to get paid for the week. If International Paper has another temporary shutdown, or worse, during the next twelve months, the employees effected by this shutdown won't have to go through another waiting period before receiving unemployment benefits. International Paper recently closed several plants throughout the country.
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