Hundreds of Former East Millinocket Millworkers Vye for a Chance to Go on Strike in Five Years

paper mill

millinocket millworkersWorkers seemed happy to have a job but disliked a five-year contract that kept them the lowest-paid paper workers in Maine. It pays starting workers a low of $11 per hour for an 8,000-hour probation period, but the same wages — $14.98 to $21.63 per hour, not $35 an hour — Katahdin Paper paid when the East Millinocket mill closed. The contract offered no set raises or cost-of-living increases, partly abolished seniority, and paid them the same salaries they earned at the Millinocket mill, which closed in September 2008, and in East Millinocket, whose mill closed in April. Union leaders also agreed to merge two USW locals at Cate Street’s request.  “It’s crap,” said one worker of the deal, “but we don’t have much of a choice.” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

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