Union president: Let’s leave politics out of dam relicensing

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For all of my adult life, I have worked in Maine paper mills that rely heavily on Maine’s waterways. For the past 27 years, I have spent many days with long hours at the Sappi Mill in Skowhegan.

In my elected capacity as a union leader, my focus has been to strike the balance of representing my members as well as assisting my company in an effort to maintain market share domestically and internationally. I have lobbied at our State House and in Washington on behalf of my company, and it is not always popular with the membership. But when you are a leader, you do what is in the best interest of not just your members, but also the company that provides the jobs.

My Nov. 30 op-ed outlined the struggle regarding the relicensing efforts for the Shawmut Dam (“Sappi union president: Mills should support dam relicensing“). Shortly after that, two separate responses from Republican senators, one in a weekly address from Brad Farrin and one in an op-ed by…

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