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Spring Mill Employee: 'It was like being sucker-punched'

'There was total disbelief that it was actually happening'

Series: The Spring Mill Closure | Story 1

March 11, 2021

Gary M. Baranec

Employees leave the mill during a recent shift change as a truck brings a load of logs to the integrated paper mill. According to an employee who spoke the Herald, employees have suspected for some time that the mill might be closing, but were still caught by surprise. In any case, working at the mill has changed over the last two decades. First, employees bought the company but lost their retirement savings, in effect trading their jobs for their retirement accounts. But when non-local managers arrived, placed by the investment firm that had purchased the mill, things changed again, according to the employee. Morale dropped when it seemed that the new "outsider" managers didn't respect the employees. Now, employees are being released with just three weeks of severance pay and no extended health care benefits. "This was the final insult," the employee told the Herald.

Editor’s Note: The Herald does not normally allow sources for news articles to remain anonymous. However, in this case, the Herald believes that there is an important story to be told. At the same time, there is a risk that the person speaking up could suffer repercussions. Herald management is aware of the identity of this mill employee. Also, the print edition of this story contained an incorrect name for a group of lenders who purchased the mill in 2018. The correct name of that group of lenders is Franklin Advisers, Inc. The mistake was the Herald's, and the Herald apologizes for the...

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