Most are concerned about issue at Gulf States

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2004

With the Demopolis Workers’ Union turning down the apparent final offer from the Gulf States Corporation and the future of the plant is now up in the air, residents of Demopolis and the surrounding counties have their own opinions about the situations.

Some of the residents feel that the Gulf States Paper Corporation is just getting greedier and greedier every time the contract with the Union is negotiated.

Kelly Thomas said it just seems that the Gulf States officials are just trying to pressure the union into signing an agreement that will save the company money over the long run. She also said the company needs to take a hard look at itself and see that the Demopolis plant is the best one in the whole country.

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“I just hope the workers know what their doing and don’t get themselves locked out of work like what happen back at the Tuscaloosa plant,” Thomas said.

Jack Snow agrees with Thomas in that the needs to take a long hard look at itself and see that the workers at the Demopolis plant deserve to get a good working contract. He also said the company should give the workers a pension plan to better serve them, when they retire.

“I think the company should revaluate the contract and just give the workers what they want, so they can go back to work with a new contract that’s both beneficial to the workers and the company,” Snow said.

The president of both the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and the Demopolis Industrial Board Jay Shows has a different opinion all together. He said he hopes that Gulf States and the union can work out their differences for the betterment of the city. He also said Gulf States has a long history in the City of Demopolis and it would be devastating to the city if it closed.

“Gulf States has a critical economic importance to the city’s success and I hope the management and the workers can come to an agreement,” Shows said.

David Davidson agrees with Shows in that Gulf States is very important to the city’s continuing future. He said perhaps the workers should seriously consider a contract without the pension. He also said he was in total agreement with the workers in that they deserve everything they can get.

“I just don’t want to see the unemployment rate in Demopolis shoot through the roof,” Davidson said.

Some of the other residents feel that the Workers’ Union just needs to accept a contract and be glad they have the good jobs they currently have.

William Smith agrees with Rowser in that the workers should just agree on a contract and go back to work. He said the workers almost seem as greedy as the company with their continued turning down of all the offers. He also said he heard they were going to bring in a special mediator to try and bring both sides together.

“I think both sides should take a really long hard look into the mirror and see what they really planning to do here,” Smith said.