Home > Uncategorized > Hooker Chemical Company: A Worker’s Viewpoint

Hooker Chemical Company: A Worker’s Viewpoint

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In the last several weeks, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to be able to interview several people who worked at the area’s chemical companies.  I’ve especially appreciated their willingness to express their candid viewpoints, as I am sure they are aware that their opinions may not be shared by the majority of community members.

Longtime Montague resident Betty Nafe worked as a lab technician at Hooker Chemical Company, one of several jobs during her adult life.  Growing up during the Depression, she says she was glad to get the job and it was a good one.  Even though she did not have formal training in chemistry, Betty said she loved her work and felt as if she would have enjoyed a full fledged professional career in a chemistry related field.

When asked what she and other workers thought when pollution concerns associated with her workplace emerged, Betty said she was surprised because the thinking at the time was that having the plant in a sandy area meant that any contamination would be filtered.  But she also was confident that any pollution would be addressed properly by company officials.  She said that was what most workers at the company thought.

Listen to Betty’s interview here to learn more about her viewpoint.   Do you know of any former workers at our area chemical companies?  Did you work at one of the companies?  What are your thoughts?

Betty Nafe in the lab at Hooker Chemical Company

Betty Nafe in the lab at Hooker Chemical Company

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Teri
    September 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    To say that no one was concerned about pollution is a lie. My aunt and uncle owned a summer place right across from where Hooker ended up being built and my uncle spent THOUSANDS of dollars of his own money to fight Hooker coming in because he felt the sandy soil was going to let the chemicals leech into wells and the lake. People who lived there year round got mad at him because all they cared about was the jobs. Gee….who was right? Of course, my aunt and uncle both died of cancer as did many of their neighbors on Old Channel Trail….and my cousin died of ALS…But EVERYONE knew that there was a concern….

    • September 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Teri – I am not sure where you have gotten the impression that my post says no one was concerned about pollution. This is about an interview with a person who worked at Hooker Chemical Company, and in the video, she expresses her opinions.

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