For all of my grownup life, I’ve labored in Maine paper mills that rely closely on Maine’s waterways. For the previous 27 years, I’ve spent many days with lengthy hours on the Sappi Mill in Skowhegan.
In my elected capability as a union chief, my focus has been to strike the steadiness of representing my members in addition to helping my firm in an effort to keep up market share domestically and internationally. I’ve lobbied at our State Home and in Washington on behalf of my firm, and it isn’t all the time in style with the membership. However if you find yourself a frontrunner, you do what’s in the most effective curiosity of not simply your members, but additionally the corporate that gives the roles.
My Nov. 30 op-ed outlined the wrestle relating to 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 deal with from Brad Farrin and one in an op-ed by Minority Chief Jeff Timberlake (“Republicans were there every step of the way on Kennebec dam,” Dec. 7) reiterated loads of the info that I shared concerning the course of, the dam house owners, the governmental companies concerned and the Mills administration.
In addition they did their degree greatest to inform of us, my members included, that I’ve it backwards and that they “had been there each step of the way in which.”
Sen. Farrin prompt that somebody from Brookfield penned my letter. For anybody that really is aware of me, I’ve written hundreds of letters, testimonials, Memorandums of Settlement, contract language, and many others. — and nobody ghost writes for me.
In gathering data whereas placing collectively my letter, I concerned many individuals which might be intimately concerned with the method. I spent numerous hours behind my pc. Each phrase was mine, excluding William Ball’s quote, which I had permission to make use of. Sen. Timberlake brings up L.R. 2047, which occurred months previous to Brookfield pulling their request to start out the method anew. Kudos to him for mentioning that the Senate president, a Democrat, voted for it within the Legislative Council.
My persistence was worn skinny after discovering out that in October, Republicans legislative leaders voted to dam a invoice from the exact same Senate president to assist relicensing efforts in 2022. I’m sorry however that doesn’t signify being there “each step of the way in which.”
After, I wrote a letter in hopes that each events and the Mills administration would cease taking part in politics with my member’s futures. And what did I get? Two politicians deflecting as a substitute of main.
A brand new legislative session is now upon us which supplies all elected representatives an unimaginable alternative. What we’d like on this session is actions. We want leaders. To be there “each step of the way in which,” you truly should be there each step of the way in which, no matter political affiliation.
The Senate president’s invoice has garnered sufficient assist from Democratic leaders that it will likely be scheduled for a public listening to. I can be there on behalf of my members and my firm in assist of the relicensing of the Shawmut Dam.
If Minority Chief Timberlake needs to be there “each step of the way in which,” he’ll lead his caucus with sufficient of his members to make sure that it’s veto-proof and that it passes into legislation.
Let’s go away the politics out of it. That’s what my members, my firm and our communities deserve from our elected representatives.
Patrick Carleton is president of USW Native 4-9.