Interview with Thomas "Tommy" Lestage
Additional Streaming Media
Date of Interview
Occupation/ Work History
President and officer of United Paperworkers International Union Local 1069, 1983-2003, pulp mill worker and later paper machine hand.
Mill or Principal Employer
S. D. Warren
Westbrook, Maine 04092
Paper mills - Maine, Sappi Paper - History, S.D.Warren - Maine, Paper Mills- Safety & Maintenance, Paper Mills - Injuries
Tommy Lestage was a long time militant labor activist and union leader at Westbrook mill. He recounts experience of working in paper mill in his various jobs - what it is like, safety problems and injuries, skills, and generally what happens while doing shiftwork and braving difficult conditions. Lestage recalls features of mill culture including practical jokes, manly relations among male workers, and varying experiences with supervisors and managers. As a low level union shop steward and later leader of the union, he has very detailed accounts of all aspects of union-company relations. The interview includes an extensive description of resistance by Local 1069 to Scott Paper's "Jointness" labor-management cooperation and work reorganization project (1988-1994), and participation in solidarity actions in support of paper mill workers on strike against International Paper Company in Jay, Maine in 1987-1988.
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Hillard, Michael, "Interview with Thomas "Tommy" Lestage" (2000). S.D. Warren Company. 51.