Wisconsin Paper Mill Workers Rallying At State Capitol To Save Kimberly Mill Jobs

Contact: Don Collins, USW, 608-481-0206
             Andy Nirschl, president, USW Local 2-9, 920-788-6022
             Howard Scott, USW, 412-580-6980

Kimberly, Wis. – A mass rally will take place on the steps of the Wisconsin state capitol building Thursday, Oct. 2, organized by the United Steelworkers (USW) urging elected officials to get on board the campaign to save paper mill jobs and the communities they sustain in Wisconsin.

USW members, led by recently laid-off employees of NewPage Corp. in Kimberly, are organizing the rally because they want lawmakers to convene a special session of the Wisconsin Assembly to pass a resolution by Representative Tom Nelson (5th Dist.) urging NewPage Corp. to run or sell the 600-worker Kimberly Mill.

Union workers say the mill shutdown is devastating to people who live in the region. The USW wants official support to pressure Miamisburg, Ohio-based NewPage to reconsider corporate plans for the Kimberly mill, which they contend has been profitable and will continue to be if given a fighting chance.

“This is a modern, state-of-the-art facility, which is one of NewPage’s most productive if not the most productive paper mill,” said Andy Nirschl, president, USW Local 2-9. “The people of Wisconsin should get behind this campaign because shutdowns like this can have a ripple effect on all of us. We’re already seeing this here, where some businesses are reporting up to 75% loss of business since the shutdown.”  

The “Rally to Save Wisconsin Jobs” will take place on the south steps of the state capitol on Thursday, Oct. 2 at noon. Bus loads of Kimberly workers and community residents will join allies in Madison at the capitol steps.

Scheduled speakers include USW Local 2-9 President Nirschl, Michael Bolton, director USW District 2, Jim Cavanaugh, president, South Central Federation of Labor (Madison), Rep. Tom Nelson, (5th Dist.-Appleton), Rep. Spencer Black (77th Dist.-Madison),  and Phil Neuenfeldt, secretary-treasurer, Wisconsin AFL-CIO.

Kimberly workers and community supporters will be leaving from the USW Local 2-9 union hall, 216 N Main St., at 9 a.m. and will be available for comments beforehand.

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