Use local labor on project

EDITOR:

I am writing in great concern of the large local corporation Verso Paper located right in the heart of the Upper Peninsula in Quinnesec, Mich. Verso Paper uses a 100 percent wood basket from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada to manufacture paper but yet this local paper corporation is going to hire a construction company RMR out of Georgia to come to Quinnesec and complete a boiler, piping and wood yard outage this September. This contractor RMR will bring approximately 150 people from out of the area to do the work usually performed by local people who pay taxes and living expenses here locally in the Upper Peninsula and Michigan.

I feel this is just another example of the large corporation mentally. The cost of doing business is once again put onto the shoulders of a small local community. Let’s not forget about the tax incentives given to this company over the years, and let’s not forget about the number of local people who have supported Verso Paper over the years. This support is now being repaid by doing their outages at a higher costs (the bid), with an out-of-state contractor (RMR) and no local people repairing the facility they have supported for so many years. Thanks Verso.

This support from the area is also being repaid with no spin off jobs. The area will get meals and motel rooms for five to six days, these rooms and meals would still be purchased with people traveling from the outlying areas of the Upper Peninsula and Michigan. The area will receive no local taxes, or state taxes and the local business will not get a boost in sales for the spin off jobs because no local people will be employed for the temporary work being performed at the Verso paper mill. The large portion of money earned will not be spent here in the Upper Peninsula as if local people were employed, the money earned will simply be transported to the state the workers came from. Once again thanks Verso.

We are the citizens that put up with the noise and pollution of Verso paper on a daily basis. We are the citizens who put up with the noise and pollution of every logging truck that supplies Verso Paper. We are the citizens that put up with the daily noise and pollution from the railway that supplies Verso Paper, but yet we are the citizens that are not going to be employed at Verso paper. Thanks Verso.

This letter is meant to wake up the area. Every business is struggling in this economy and most people are struggling in this economy and I know Verso Paper is no different. So why pay more for an out of area Contractor and workforce?

The paper industry is struggling like the rest of us so why hire an out-of-state contractor? Why not employ our great local citizens who can, have and would complete this work as they have in the past for so many years? Why pay more for an out of area workers?

Jim Calouette

Gladstone