It felt like a gut punch — the kind that bends you over in shock and agony.
A Georgia-Pacific (GP) representative called to tell me company officials decided to permanently shut down a major portion of the Camas paper and pulp mill, ending some 300 family-wage jobs.
GP will continue tissue-manufacturing operations that support 140 local jobs, but will redirect paper operations to its Louisiana mill.
I’m thankful the entire Camas operations will not close, but devastated for this loss to our community. Operating since 1884, just five years before Washington became a state, the Camas mill has provided a steady paycheck for thousands of workers, including some in my family. With an average hourly rate of $27, GP has contributed more than $46 million annually to our local economy, as well as millions spent on local goods and services. It has also invested tens of millions of dollars to clean emissions and ensure minimal impact to our environment.
Officially GP says, “Economic impacts from the continuing decline in demand for communication papers make it necessary to discontinue operations” in Camas and transfer them to Louisiana.
Unofficially, it’s not difficult to read between the lines. Employers tell me it is increasingly impossible to do business in Washington. Many feel they are under attack. Why shouldn’t they? Consider this: (READ MORE)