A story by Linda Deane from 1977-2017
Linda Deane talked about the challenges and opportunities she's had in Maine's paper mills, of working on a paper machine, as a Millwright, and being a representative for the Union.
I was the first woman to work on a paper machine at the International Paper Jay Mill in 1977. I worked there until the strike in 1987. I traveled and worked for Local 14 during the strike. In 1989 I began working for Boise Cascade in Rumford and did a four year apprenticeship to learn to be a Millwright.
I still work in Rumford, mainly on the crane crew. I am the Woman of Steel coordinator for the United Steelworkers for the State of Maine. As a woman, there were difficulties of blatant chauvinism and sexism in the mills, which isn't tolerated today.
I'd like to see some sort of manufacturing come back to our region, but it probably won't be Paper.