100 Union Jobs Hang in the Balance

The 100 or so union workers at a paper factory in Brattleboro are trying to save their jobs. The Georgia-based company that owns the factory says it will fire them all and close the factory. “We're working with other paper companies whose workers we represent to help one of them buy the Brattleboro factory,” John Shinn told the Valley Post on November 1. He's a top leader at the Steelworkers Union, which represents the workers at the Brattleboro factory, and which has a web site at:


“If that doesn't work, we're open to helping the workers buy the factory and keep on running it themselves. We're in touch with Mondragon,” Shinn said.

The Mondragon cooperatives in Spain have more than 80,000 worker-owners, about half of whom work in factories. The workers elect the bosses. They have a web site at:


Brattleboro town manager Peter Elwell and Don Jamison, who runs the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, told the Valley Post they want to help the workers in this endeavor.

The factory's owner did not respond to a request for comment. Usually when factories close in the Valley it's because the owners decide they can make more money by moving production to China or other low-wage nations.

This photo shows the factory at 161 Wellington Road. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams


Employee ownership

Just a thought, but I wonder if it gets to the point of actual purchase whether some of the Vermont Yankee money could be used?

Ron Pickering

editor's note: Pickering is the former president of the Vermont AFL-CIO and a long-time Brattleboro resident

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