Contact: Lynne Hancock, USW, 615-828-6169, email@example.com
Adam Lee, USW, 412-243-4236, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsburgh—The United Steelworkers Union (USW) announced today that it reached a financial settlement with North American Salt Company, a subsidiary of Overland Park, Kansas-based Compass Minerals International, Inc., concerning the disputed termination of Derrick Forestier, a highly decorated veteran from the company’s Cote Blanche, La., underground salt mine.
Forestier was an Army Sergeant First Class who served 24 years in active duty, was deployed five times and served in combat three times. He received many awards for his service, including the Bronze Star.
An undisclosed, agreed confidential payment is being made to Forestier for his transition assistance to civilian employment, as part of the settlement of his disputed termination with North American Salt Company.
The company agreed to make two charitable donations to honor veterans as part of the settlement with Forestier and the union. The first donation is a $10,000 payment in the name of Forestier to the Wounded Warrior Project. A second donation of $5,000 in the name of Forestier is going to the Veterans of Foreign Wars located in New Iberia, La.
Ironically, in a November 9 email to Compass Minerals employees, the company’s CEO, Angelo Brisimitzakis, stated that the company was making charitable donations to these two organizations “in recognition of our Compass Minerals veterans” without disclosing that donations to the groups by the company are a requirement of the settlement of veteran Forestier’s disputed discharge.
“We believe the settlement is fair and will help Derrick be successful in his transition to civilian life,” said USW District 13 Director Mickey Breaux. “We also wanted to ensure that two well-deserved Veterans groups that do a lot to help our service men and women received funds as well.
“Helping workers like Derrick get justice is one of the major reasons for having a union in the workplace,” Breaux added.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in the metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, energy, government and service sectors.
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