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Who’s Lying? Verso Workers versus Michele Bachmann [AUDIO]

Lyle Fleck, Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

SARTELL – A battle of words is brewing between Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and the head of the union for the Verso Paper Mill in Sartell.

Union President for the United Steelworkers Local 274 Lyle Fleck called a news conference this (Tuesday) afternoon at Watab Park in Sartell to basically call out Bachmann.

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Former Verso employees first showed-up in an ad for her opponent Jim Graves last month.  They claimed at the time that Bachmann wasn’t there for them in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Bachmann has since responded to that claim saying that’s simply not true.  She says she has met with Sartell city leaders, and the owners of the mill.  But Fleck says she didn’t meet with him, or his former co-workers.

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Fleck says Bachmann first came to Sartell on August 9th, over two months after the Memorial Day fire and explosion, and a full week after the announcement that the mill would not reopen.  He also called Bachmann’s August 9th appearance an “orchestrated photo op”.

Fleck went on to say that several other political leaders did meet with him, including: Governor Mark Dayton, and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.  Fleck also made a point to commend several State Legislators, especially Republican State Senator Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville.  Fleck says he plans to vote for Fischbach, because of her continued efforts to help the workers.

About 245 Verso Paper employees lost their jobs when the mill closed.

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