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Workers Pleased With Twin Rivers Paper Mill Contract

LYONSDALE, New York (From news reports) -- Union workers at Twin Rivers Paper Company in southern Lewis County have a new six-year contract.

It calls for them to get a 12.5 percent pay raise over that time and it maintains the existing health care plan for the life of the agreement.

"The majority of the membership was very satisfied. They were pleased with the deal. They liked the longevity of a six-year term and there's no concessions whatsoever. That's very important when you get a new owner," said Jack VanderBaan, United Steelworkers spokesperson.

The United Steelworkers union represents 42 employees at the company, which was formerly known as the Burrows Paper Mills.

The business, in the town of Lyonsdale, was sold in December after the man who owned it passed away.

There was uncertainty about the family-owned mill.

However, Twin Rivers Paper of Madawaska, Maine came in, bought the mill and split it into two companies, so there's a paper making business and a paper converting business.

"It's been a win-win. We're pleased with the relationship we had with Burrows and we're pleased with the relationship that we're starting out with the Twin Rivers management team," said VanderBaan.

Word of the contract comes as welcome news for the Lyonsdale community.

George Poore has lived there for more than 20 years, right across the street the mill.

"There's quite a few people working there. There's a lot of jobs and stuff going on there," he said.

At Dorrity's Restaurant in the nearby village of Lyons Falls, the plant's deal is good for a place where paper mill workers come to eat.

"It helps everybody. It helps me. It helps keep our jobs going too and keeps our business going," said Annette Bouchard, waitress at Dorrity's Restaurant.

Dorrity's is on Center Street and just down the road is the former Lyons Falls Pulp & Paper mill site, which closed about 16 years ago.

Residents say they're happy the other mill in the area will stay open.

"It does hurt the small towns when you have a business close," said Bouchard.

"I'm glad they're going to keep going and everything here. All the paper mills are shutting down around here. It's a good thing," said Poore.

As demolition continues on the old Lyons Falls mill, another gets a new deal and a better future.


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