Monday Morning Minute: Nov. 11, 2019

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

USW Local 4-380 – International Paper – Barrington, N.J. – Local Renewal Contract and Right-to-Act Policy Presentation

During their local renewal contract presentation meeting on November 2, Local 4-380 also took the opportunity to present the right-to-act policy to the membership. The unit is covered under International Paper’s Converter Master Agreement, which allows the membership to bargain local items not covered under the master, mid-term, or three years into the six-year term. 

The local reviewed the right-to-act policy and plans to roll it out at the next “safety kickoff” meeting. According to Local Union 4-380 President Bob Tapp, “Safety kickoff meetings are held every Monday at the beginning of each shift. The [International Paper] unit has a local safety committee, and they will be making the presentations.” A photo of the meeting at the Local 4-380 union hall in Magnolia, N.J., can be seen below. Tapp said that it was a great turnout.

Did You Know?

Candy wrappers start with uncoated paper. Domtar's Specialty Paper division produces more than 5,000 tons/year of paper for candy each year. This paper is then sold to converters to be transformed into the candy wrappers and packaging you see at the store. The basis weight of candy wrapper paper is 18.5 to 23 pounds, making it easy to wrap and twist. Specialty fillers ensure that this lightweight paper is strong enough to hold up during the converting process as well as during packaging and shipping. Many Domtar candy wrappers go through wet waxing, which provides a barrier to protect the candy. Waxing also adds strength to the paper so it won’t tear while going through high-speed twisting and folding machines, and it helps create a good fold around products such as gum or taffy.


Product Recall: Honeywell Safety Products recalls Miller MightEvac, MightyLite Self-Retracting Lifeline

Please be advised of the following recall and mandatory stop-use alert and share widely!

The recall involves potentially non-conforming brake components in certain models of Miller MightEvac and Mighty Lite Self-Retracting Lifelines (SRLS) ranges manufactured within a specific timeframe. While there have been NO reported incidents due to this nonconformity, continued use of the product could result in serious injury or death.

Copy and paste the following link into your browser for more information and immediate steps that you should take if you have one of these products in-use:


MSA is issuing this inspection notice to inform you that MSA has received a limited number of field reports in which the lifeline in a WORKMAN MINI PFL did not retract after being fully extended. MSA has not received any reports of injuries associated with this condition. However, we are requesting that you perform the inspection outlined in this notice.

Upon investigation of WORKMAN MINI PFL units, MSA determined that the fall clearance required for units exhibiting this condition may be greater than the fall clearance specified in MSA instruction manuals. As a result, we recommend that an enhanced pre-use inspection be performed as outlined in this notice. Included in this inspection recommendation are the WORKMAN MINI PFL and V-EDGE WEB 8ft/2.4m PFL. See Appendix A for a part number list.

To view the inspection notice and check your equipment, copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Industry Update

USW Locals 51, 1329 & 13-1327 – Domtar – Port Huron, Mich., & Ashdown, Ark. – Domtar to Permanently Shut Two Uncoated, Freesheet Paper Machines

Domtar is taking downtime at its paper mills and permanently shutting two paper machines. The company took 125,000 tons of market-related downtime and reduced its paper inventory by 19,000 tons during the 3rd quarter, according to analysts. The company attributes the closures to a 3-5 percent decrease of annual demand in the uncoated freesheet market. The lack of order downtime that the company took in the 3rd quarter of this year totaled about $125 million.

USW paper sector leadership has been involved in the effects bargaining around the machine closures to help minimize the impact of the shuts as much as possible.

USW Local 381 – WestRock – Newark, N.J. – WestRock to Close its Corrugator Located in Newark, N.J

WestRock announced that it will be closing its box shop located in Newark, N.J., by the end of the year. The Newark facility has nearly 100 USW members working at it, and USW local leadership and staff are working on the effects bargaining around the closure. The facility is expected to shut by the end of the year.

Tell Us Your Stories!

Has your local done something amazing? Have you had a great solidarity action? Done something huge to help your community? Made significant connections with other labor groups? Is your Women of Steel or Next Gen committee making waves? Have you had success in bargaining, major accomplishments? We all stay so busy working to improve our workplaces and communities that we often do not take 5 minutes to reflect, share and celebrate our accomplishments. Tell us your story so we can all be part of it! Contact Laura Donovan at, or at 412-562-2504.


Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222