BANGOR - Lobstering in Maine has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past year few years, but now with the 'Maine Lobstering Union' officially formed Sunday, lobstermen are hoping to see changes come to this booming business in the Pine Tree State.
A light at the end of the tunnel is what many men and women had on their minds as the newly formed 'Maine Lobstering Union' held its first official meeting Sunday - a day long overdue.
"It's been a struggle. Winters get tough, wondering how you're going to pay your bills, keep your electric stuff going when you're getting paid peanuts for your product" Erick Blackwood, a lobsterman, says.
"This is a first here - nationwide - independent lobster fishermen being able to have a union or be part of a big union" Rocky Alley, another lobsterman, says.
Dozens of lobstermen from all across Maine gathered to formally establish the union, pay union dues, and also nominate officers, but none of this would have been possible without the call from one lobsterman who said enough was enough.
"It was time. I've been talking this talk for a long time, but the timing of what happened last year, and the excuses we got for our terrible prices was too much for me," Magnus Lane, a lobsterman, says.
"Not only prices were a problem but everything going on in Augusta too. We had rules and regulations shoved down our throats without even know about them. Not anymore though, we're in the conversation now," Blackwood adds.
Members then began the process of creating by laws for the newly formed union, working together... not against one another.
"I'm proud... big time. Seeing people working together, for our communities, and our next generation... that's what I'm about, that's what this is about," Lane explains.
Lane also says hes excited for the future and that by winter of next year, lobstermen in Maine will be right where they need to be.