WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman David Trone (all D-Md.) released the below statement following their call on Friday with Verso Interim CEO Les Lederer. The three have previously held meetings with the Mayor of Luke and the Allegany County Executive just days after the plant announced its closing:
“On Friday, we had a candid and pointed discussion with Verso’s leadership about the closing of the paper mill in Luke and next steps to support the community and workers, especially continuing operation of the mill under new ownership. We expressed our deep disappointment at the current situation and the need to maintain open lines of communication with federal, state, and local officials throughout this process.
“We discussed a number of issues facing the town and their employees, including health insurance and pension plans for Luke mill workers, operation of the mill and other affected sites in Luke, and the status of drinking water and wastewater treatment services in Luke.
“We will continue our communication with Verso leadership and continue to discuss the issues raised by the workers, town, and county, so that Luke and the entire region isn’t left blindsided once again. We will continue fighting for the mill workers and the residents of Luke during this difficult time.”