USW Participates in Global Campaign Launch, April 11 Day of Action, Calls on Kimberly-Clark to Consult Workers Before Restructuring

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) announced that they would participate in a global campaign launch today by standing with the Kimberly-Clark workers around the globe in a day of action coordinated by global union federations UNI and IndustriALL.

The unions stand opposed to global restructuring plans announced by Kimberly-Clark in early 2018 to close 10 unidentified plants over a 3-year period and dismiss 5,500 workers, pitting all plants against each other and throwing workers into insecurity and uncertainty. 

So far, the plan has resulted in plant closures and job losses on four continents, including a USW-represented facility in Neenah, Wis. The USW-represented Fox Crossing, Wis., facility has remained open, but only after deep concessions that harm both workers and the community and state tax breaks despite the company’s profitability.

Kimberly-Clark operates under a number of popular and profitable brands including: baby care Huggies and Pull-Ups; Depends and Poise for adult incontinence; Kotex feminine products; Kleenex tissue and Cottonelle bathroom tissue. 

All restructuring has taken place without input from key stakeholders, its workers, which could be catastrophic for the company. Instead the company has said, and maintains, that it will only comply with national laws on worker consultation.

“Compliance means that Kimberly-Clark intends to do the minimum amount necessary to avoid prosecution. This is about corporate greed, pure and simple,” said Leeann Foster, IndustriALL Pulp and Paper Sector Chair. “The only solution is for workers around the world to stand together. Corporations are multinational, but so too is our solidarity.”

To read the UNI’s and IndustriALL’s full statement on Kimberly-Clark, click here.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

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