Century-Old Paper Mill to Abruptly Close, Grown Men Seen Crying as 1,100 Set to Lose Jobs

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President Harry Truman once reportedly quipped, “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job. It’s a depression when you lose yours.”

If that’s true, a depression descended on Canton, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon, when workers at the local paper mill were called to a meeting, according to Smoky Mountain News.

There, company officials from Pactiv-Evergreen unexpectedly announced that the mill will be closing within the next few months after more than 100 years in operation, eliminating 1,100 jobs.

Aside from an audible gasp from the audience, the News reported, workers received the announcement in “stunned silence.”

Afterward, the news began to sink in.

Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers told WPDE-TV of the heartbreaking scene after the meeting.

“I was downtown and I saw grown men with tears in their eyes,” he told the TV station. “No one was prepared on this dark Monday to deal with that.”

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