International Paper Employees Work Their Last Day On The Job

It's moving day for employees at International Paper's Moss Point Mill. Most say it's like leaving a home that you've lived in for so many years.

"Sentimental, very sentimental," International Paper employee Elizabeth Haarala said. "I've been out there 35 years, and it's kind of a real traumatic experience. Just hate to see it go."

"To me, it's an opportunity to get out of here and do something else in life. But on the other hand, there's people out here you've been friends with for you know 20 years, and you'll never see them again," mill employee David Adams said.

Before saying goodbye, mill employees enjoyed a farewell picnic, reminiscing over grilled burgers and dogs, and sharing memories with co-workers who became so much more.

"We've had some great people working at the mill through all these years, and literally thousands and thousands of families have raised their kids, built there homes, put them through college and all those sorts of things," mill manager Ed Locke said.

Some of the 375 employees losing their jobs say they are not being treated fairly. Locke says the mill has done all it can for its employees, and he feels most workers agree.

"I think the great majority of people clearly understand that they've been treated very fairly. And always, when people loose their jobs, they're under a lot of stress. They're going to say a lot of things."

Though the future is uncertain for many, they share the legacy of the mill that's been a huge part of their lives and the community for nearly 90 years.