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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 ::

    Paper mill hits safety milestone - By Chris Dumond, Lynchburg News and Advance, VA
    BIG ISLAND - Amid vats of corrosive chemicals, high-pressure gas and hundreds of tons of moving machinery, the workers at Georgia-Pacific’s Big Island containerboard mill this morning will celebrate 1 million work hours without a serious injury.

    In 3½ years, Big Island has gone from Georgia-Pacific’s most unsafe mill to its safest, mill spokeswoman Zoe Miller said. The transition came at a time when the company was being bought out and workers were being asked to perform new and expanded tasks. And, the turnaround wasn’t the result of a corporate mandate, but a response by hourly workers to a challenge from mill leadership.

    “I don’t know if it was us being lax or that people weren’t taking safety seriously,” said Bill Davis, the local United Steelworkers union president. “We initiated a little program we called Brothers’ Keepers and from that point on, people started to look out for each other.
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