"Fair Contract Now!" light shines on the Woodland Pulp mill in Baileyville on Nov. 17, 2022. Credit: Courtesy of Mike Higgins via Maine Public

Workers at the Woodland Pulp mill in Baileyville reached a deal to avoid a strike earlier this month.

Members of United Steelworkers Local 27 had sought more time off, raises, and a cost-of-living adjustment to help them keep up with inflation.

Workers argued the wages were warranted because they stayed on the job, even in the worst of the pandemic.

Local 27 President Shawn Howland said that last week, workers overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract that included a 4 percent raise in the first year, with an additional $4,100 from a signing bonus and retroactive pay.

“With fuel prices the way they are, we just felt like we needed to maximize that. I can honestly say that I believe that we got the maximum amount that the company was able to provide us,” Howland said.

Members of Local 27 had authorized a strike after voting down a contract proposal in early December.

Howland said the members also secured more time off for most workers, which was a priority for many.

This story appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.