Monday Morning Minute: Mar. 27, 2016

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Union Work - Collective Bargaining, Organizing, Arbitration, Worker Rights, Community Work, Political Work, Labor History

USW Local 264-04 – Green Bay Packaging – Coon Rapids, MN

On March 22nd, the local ratified a new 3 year agreement. The local will receive wage increases of 6.75% over the life of the agreement, as well as increases to S&A and Life/AD&D.

The agreement includes a seamless transition and withdrawal from the Multi-Employer PIUMPF Defined Benefit Pension 12/31/2017 to a well-funded single employer company sponsored Green Bay Packaging Defined Benefit Pension plan effective 1/1/2018. On 1/1/2019, the multiplier will increase by $1, and will increase an additional $1 on January 1st of each subsequent year.

 

Kimberly Clark Unions From Around the Globe Convened Together and With the Company March 14-15

Meeting among themselves to discuss issues and work within their regions on March 14, union delegates from Brazil, Columbia, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States then convened with the Company on March 15 to review the business, safety and trending issues across the geographic regions.

IndustriALL represented affiliates from Germany, Korea, India, Peru, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel and Australia. A number of USW locals took active part in the meetings and represented the USA.

The annual meeting is coordinated by UNI Global Union Graphical and Packaging a global union federation and was also attended by IndustriALL a global federation operating in most industrial sectors including paper. The meeting has occurred since 2008 and built tremendous solidarity of the unions across the globe.

 

Safety

Proposed Cuts to Department of Labor under Trump “Skinny Budget” would Eliminate U.S. Chemical Safety Board and OSHA Grants Funding USW Paper Sector Safety Project

Overall, the Trump “skinny budget” proposal cuts $54 billion from programs that benefit working families. It is being called a “skinny budget” because it proposes how much full agencies will be cut, but doesn’t outline how those cuts will affect all of the programs within the agencies. A detailed budget request should be released in mid-May.

The proposed cuts to the Department of Labor budget include $2.5 billion (about 20.7%) towards:

The Chemical Safety Board has investigated explosions in the paper sector that resulted in multiple fatalities. CSB's Chairperson, Vanessa Allen Sutherland, has released the following statement:

“The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is disappointed to see the President’s budget proposal to eliminate the agency. The CSB is an independent agency whose sole mission is to investigate accidents in the chemical industry and to make recommendations to prevent future accidents and improve safety. For over 20 years, the CSB has conducted hundreds of investigations of high consequence chemical incidents, such as the Deepwater Horizon and West Fertilizer disasters. Our investigations and recommendations have had an enormous effect on improving public safety.  Our recommendations have resulted in banned natural gas blows in Connecticut, an improved fire code in New York City, and increased public safety at oil and gas sites across the State of Mississippi. The CSB has been able to accomplish all of this with a small and limited budget. The American public is safer today as a result of the work of the dedicated and professional staff of the CSB. As this process moves forward, we hope that the important mission of this agency will be preserved.”

 

Industry Update

From Two Sides – Paper Grows Trees…Quite Fast

The Two Sides campaign – a Global initiative with the goal of promoting sustainability in the paper industry – released information stating that it takes less than 2 seconds to grow the fiber needed for a standard #10 envelope (on 100 acres of managed forests) in North America. They also found that the time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours per 100 acres of managed North American forest.

Click here for more information.

 

Tranlin’s Vastly Straw Pulp Mill Project in Virginia May begin this Summer

Construction on the planned $2 billion paper mill in eastern Chesterfield could begin as early as this summer, according to a county economic development official.

Nearly three years after plans for the project were first announced, the Chinese-owned company building the factory is moving closer to construction, said Garrett Hart, director of the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority. Formerly Tranlin Co., Vastly Inc.’s paper mill is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

 

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