Rapid Response Team Meets with Lincoln Mill Workers 

Laid off mill workers from Lincoln Paper and Tissue gathered at Mattanawcook Academy on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of information being presented by the state and the AFL-CIO and hopefully it helps them,” said Roger Zelkan, president local 396.

The president of the the United Steel Works local union 396 said they can’t release information on severance pay and unemployment for the workers yet.

Zelkan said, “All employees have not been called and told of their options.”

But the Department of Labor Rapid Response Team does have something to offer these workers.

“Unemployment insurance, career center services which will be offered here, signing up for training assistance if they don’t have transferable skills,” said Judy Pelletier who oversees the Rapid Response Team.

The DOL team said they will send resources to this area for the foreseeable future.

Pelletier said, “We’re bringing help to Lincoln for them, they don’t have to travel. We have workshops set up next week.”

A big topic at the meeting centered around health insurance.

“Everybody needs to learn all their options and figure out the best path for themselves individually,” said Pelletier.

The union leader said the area has taken a big hit because of the layoffs.

“It’s hard. The mill we have here, it’s all family, friends, relatives. We all know each other and it affects the whole community,” said Zelkan.

But this is all just step one for the almost 200 now unemployed mill workers.