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Duluth trucking firm to close; 200 jobs to be lost

Monson Trucking of Duluth announced it will shut down Aug.

Monson Trucking of Duluth announced it will shut down Aug. 31, and 200 people will lose their jobs.

The economic downturn, decline of the paper industry and the bankruptcy of two major customers — both Canadian paper mills — prompted the decision to close the 94-year-old, family-based trucking business, Michael Monson, one of the owners, told the Duluth News Tribune.

The company has 100 employees in Duluth and 100 more at terminals in Virginia, Red Wing and Mauston, Wis.

The closure comes despite recent concessions made by union members, including a pay cut and reduced health coverage. In addition, Globe said 50 drivers had been laid off in the past seven months.

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“I’m confused and a little upset that after all we did for them, that they’re closing shop,” said driver Michael Globe, who received company accolades in 2006 for driving 1 million consecutive miles without an accident.

According to the paper: “Monson Trucking is a four-generation family business that started in 1915 in Zumbrota, Minn., with teams of horses and dray wagons hauling freight to stores and coal to homes. Trucks eventually replaced horses and the business grew to include terminals in Red Wing, Duluth, Virginia and Mauston. Duluth became the company’s headquarters in 1983.”