Mill Workers, Allies to Rally at Halsey Plant Gate on September 21

Uniting to demand security for the mill and the community from the investment firm that purchased the mill.

Contact: Jim Gourley, USW Local 1189, 541-206-9542
             Howard Scott, USW, 412-562-2521
Halsey, Oregon – Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1189, community supporters and political leaders are organizing a large plant gate rally at the Cascade Pacific Pulp plant Sept. 21 to protest the uncertain future of the Halsey pulp mill under the ownership of the firm Wayzata Investment Partners.

Union workers and supporters will meet at the USW Local 1189 union hall in Halsey, 1125 West 1st St., at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, and have a parade style car caravan for the two and a half mile trip to the plant gate. After the rally, the USW will hold a community picnic at the union hall until 4 p.m. for those in attendance.

Speakers at the rally will include rank-and-file union workers from the plant, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlin, State Senator Vickie Walker, U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley and USW Canadian Wood Council Chair Bob Matters. Additional dignitaries have been invited to attend, but have yet to confirm their attendance.

Earlier this year, Minnesota-based Wayzata Investment Partners bought the former Pope  & Talbot pulp mill in Halsey, Ore., and renamed it Cascade Pacific Pulp. In the change of ownership, longtime workers were fired and then made to reapply for their jobs. There were no security measures in the union contract to protect the jobs in the event of a sale or closure. Local 1189 is working to secure a contract provision called “successorship” in order to protect the mill and its workforce in the event Wayzata acts on its intentions and resells the mill in the future.   

“The Halsey mill has been part of this community for 40 years, providing good jobs that support local schools and businesses.  Union members are determined to stand together with allies from our community to ensure the new owners of the pulp mill understand that we want these family supporting jobs to be here for our children,” said USW Local 1189 spokesperson Jim Gourley.
More than 100 union-represented workers at the Kraft pulp mill and their allies are demanding that Wayzata Investment Partners bargain fairly with employees over the terms of their labor agreement and seek protections to keep the mill operational for the future.

Workers from the Halsey mill, as well as community allies, will be available for interviews at this event.

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