Following the announced bankruptcy of Lincoln Paper and Tissue and the likely closure of the Expera mill in Old Town, Democratic Sen. Jim Dill of Old Town will submit a bill aimed at assisting hundreds of workers at the two mills who stand to lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
“Many of the men and women who earn their livings at these two mills live in my district, and the potential for both mills to close by the end of the year presents a one-two punch that would devastate our region,” said Dill. “While I remain hopeful that suitable buyers will come forward and pledge to keep the mills up and running, we must prepare for the worst.”
The bill, titled “An Act to Provide Assistance to Laid-off Workers,” will be submitted as an after-deadline bill. The bill is still being drafted, but Dill’s goal is to ensure adequate job training, financial assistance and/or transition services to any employee who loses their job as a result of these mills shuttering.
“These are good-paying jobs that can’t easily be replaced by the local fast-food restaurant,” Dill said. “These highly skilled workers deserve our best efforts to ensure they land back on their feet if the mills close.”
Nearly 200 men and women work at the Expera mill in Old Town, and another roughly 180 work at Lincoln Paper and Tissue.
“The workers of Old Town Fuel and Fiber are facing an enormous challenge in the wake of today’s announcement, but we have seen challenges like this before. As we have always done, we will persevere,” saidRep. Michelle Dunphy , D-Old Town. “It will take a lot of hard work, and I stand with my neighbors to make sure they have the answers and resources they need to move forward in the weeks and months ahead.”