In response to Linda Dumey from Wells who claimed that Maine gets “next to nothing” from Poland Spring’s presence (letter, April 19), I strongly disagree.

In the real world, Poland Spring helps hundreds of Mainers support their families with good jobs, including jobs at the company where I work.

Since 1948, Hartt Transportation has been Maine family owned and operated. Today we employ over 500 full-time employees. One hundred and fifty of them are on the Poland Spring account, which represents $10 million a year in payroll. These are good jobs. If you do the math, the average salary of our workers is about $67,000 per year, including full benefits.

These jobs wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Poland Spring. If extremists are successful, 150 of my co-workers will be out of work, and maybe I will too.

Hartt has made over $32 million in capital investments just to service the Poland Spring account. That includes buying trucks, trailers and the parts to maintain them, all of which we purchased from other Maine companies and which help support Maine jobs. From the dealerships to fuel stations to tire suppliers, there are hundreds of Mainers who have benefited from our partnership with Poland Spring. Many of them are right here in Lewiston-Auburn.

Maine needs more companies like Poland Spring. We must reject anti-business crusaders who gleefully threaten a trusted Maine company and willfully jeopardize hundreds of good paying jobs. Perhaps they have that luxury. Real Maine families do not

Ricky Hughes, terminal manager

Hartt Transportation Systems, Bangor and Auburn