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 stability of representing my members in addition to aiding 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’s not all the time standard with the membership. However if you end up a pacesetter, you do what’s in the perfect curiosity of not simply your members, but in addition the corporate that gives the roles.

My Nov. 30 op-ed outlined the battle 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 a whole lot of the information that I shared in regards to the course of, the dam house owners, the governmental businesses concerned and the Mills administration.

Additionally they did their degree greatest to inform of us, my members included, that I’ve it backwards and that they “have been there each step of the best way.”

Sen. Farrin recommended that somebody from Brookfield penned my letter. For anybody that truly is aware of me, I’ve written 1000’s of letters, testimonials, Memorandums of Settlement, contract language, and so on. — and nobody ghost writes for me.

In gathering data whereas placing collectively my letter, I concerned many individuals which can be intimately concerned with the method. I spent numerous hours behind my pc. Each phrase was mine, apart from 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 characterize being there “each step of the best way.”

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 an alternative of main.

A brand new legislative session is now upon us which provides 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 best way,” you truly need to be there each step of the best way, no matter political affiliation.

The Senate president’s invoice has garnered sufficient assist from Democratic leaders that it is going to 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 best way,” 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 depart 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.


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