About 3,000 supporters of a soon to be shuttered paper mill rallied in a Kimberly park over the weekend, in a last ditch effort to send a message to NewPage Corporation, which owns the plant.
The mill is scheduled to close today , putting 600 people out of work. Dan Sewall is one of them. “All families have disagreements from time to time,” Sewall said to the crowd which had assembled for Saturday's rally at Memorial Park, across the street from the NewPage mill. “But, then the going gets tough, loving families bond together and support each other. If someone threatens or attacks my family, they are in for the fight of their life, and NewPage, you just did that.”
“This fight has not gone unnnoticed,” said state Rep. Tom Nelson (D-Kaukana). “This is why today is just the beginning, and we must continue that fight. We may not control the switch that turns this mill on and off, but we can make it very, very difficult for anyone who tries to turn off this mill.” Congressman Steve Kagen said free trade agreements aren't fair, and are hurting the paper industry in America. “They've made it possible for NewPage, and the corporate interests that own them, to close down a proitable mill here in Kimberly, to close down a money making mill in Niagara,” said Kagen, who blamed both decisions on “corporate greed.”
Dan Sewal said their fight to save the plant and its jobs is just beginning. “We will continue for fight for what is right,” he said. “It is not over until the fat lady sings, and the big old gal hasn't even begun to hum.”