DATE: 3/31/2004 09:57:00 AM
Gratitude, Union Style - Maine Governor John Baldacci has been working to secure a buyer for Eastern Fine Paper mills in Lincoln and Brewer. He has spent state money to keep the mills viable for purchase. Over 750 jobs would be lost if the negotiations had not happened. In my humble opinion, the state is working too hard to prop up a dying industry. But one cannot deny that the work Governor Baldacci has done may keep people working.
Cannot deny, that is, unless you're a union boss. Steve Corriveau, president of a Lincoln union, is quoted in the story:
We've been totally left out of the loop. I do not want to say I'm cautiously optimistic because optimistic means there's something positive. I do realize the governor is doing everything he can to secure a buyer here, but I am very concerned about what I'm not hearing here.In effect, Corriveau seems to be saying that the state's work and the spending of my tax dollars so he can keep his job is not a positive thing. It's true that these guys may not get paid quite as much as before, or get all the benefits to which they were accustomed. But they would go from not working to working. They would draw a paycheck again at a job they know instead of spending years back in school or job retraining programs.
The deal has not been finalized. Either side can walk away. If you were the buyer and you read this quote, wouldn't it give you an idea of the types of union members you would have to deal with? Corriveau, in a single quote, has seemed both ungrateful and impossible to please. Neither are particulary attractive qualities in a workforce.