Former Great Eastern Mussel Farm Workers Eligible for Trade Benefits Bookmark and Share

September 4, 2008

Augusta – Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman announced today that former workers of Great Eastern Mussel Farms of Tenants Harbor have been certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. The company had cited Canadian competition as a factor in its decision to close and lay off 40 workers earlier this summer.

TAA certification allows the workers to apply for benefits under the Trade Act of 2002, including job search assistance, training, job search and relocation allowances, additional weeks of unemployment benefits, and tax credits for health care costs. Workers over the age of 50 who go back to work within 26 weeks of losing their job may also be eligible for a wage subsidy to help bridge the salary gap between their old and new employment.

The Maine Department of Labor supplies and processes individual applications for TAA benefits.

A TAA informational session has been scheduled for former Great Eastern Mussel Farm Workers at the Rockland CareerCenter on Tuesday, September 9 at 9:00 A.M. No pre-registration is necessary, but workers should bring identification with them to the meeting to register for services. Acceptable identification includes a drivers license, birth certificate or social security card. Veterans should bring a copy of their DD214 form if they have it.

The Rockland CareerCenter is located at 91 Camden Street, Suite 201, Rockland, ME.

The application process for TAA benefits is time sensitive and workers who can’t attend the informational meeting are urged to contact Judy Pelletier at the Maine Department of Labor as soon as possible to register. Judy can be reached by calling 1-888-457-8883 or TTY: 1-800-794-1110.