Negotiations resumed Tuesday between UPM Blandin Paper and the unionized workers at its Grand Rapids, Minn., plant.

About 165 employees at the UPM Blandin Paper mill in Grand Rapids went on strike Saturday, temporarily shutting down the factory after labor negotiations broke down regarding wages, benefits and staffing.

Members of Teamsters Local 346 had expected the strike to last two weeks, but mill officials said in an email that negotiations resumed Tuesday morning and that management and workers will meet again on Thursday.

"We remain hopeful that we can move forward and reach an agreement," said Blandin spokeswoman Marsha Miller.

Union members said they are fighting for higher wages; the end to a two-tier wage system that pays new hires less; and for better staffing levels that don't require so much overtime.

The unrest comes after years of downsizing at the paper mill, known for making coated magazine paper. The industry has suffered a reduced demand for many paper products following the global digitization of print materials.

Blandin, now owned by a Finnish company, once boasted a workforce of 800 in Grand Rapids.

But in 2003, the plant shut two of four production lines, laying off 265. In 2018, Blandin shut down a third line, laying off roughly 150 workers. The plant temporarily shut for several weeks in 2020, affecting 240 workers.

Now there are believed to be fewer than 170 line workers at the factory.

The Teamsters labor contract expired July 1 after weeks of talks broke off and members voted to strike.

"The company is committed to engaging in the negotiation process with the Teamsters Local 346 membership," Blandin officials said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that we can move forward and reach an agreement."