Monday Morning Minute: April 26, 2021

Union Work

We need Your Help on the USW Fenner Dunlop Lockout Support

On February 12, mining supply company Fenner Dunlop locked out members of USW local 7949 who work at its Bracebridge, Ontario, facility after they turned down a final contract offer.

The company is demanding concessions on sick days and disability, along with pay cuts, in the middle of the pandemic.  Fenner Dunlop is a subsidiary of Michelin and our members manufacture conveyor belts used in mining.  Company sales are handled through around 100 distributors in the United States.

The International is asking for each USW district to carry out one solidarity action over the next few weeks. Delegations are being organized to go to the distributors to deliver a letter informing them of the labor dispute, which the company has kept from its customers, and take pictures with solidarity signs that will then be used in our social media campaign targeting Fenner Dunlop and Michelin.

A group of 3-5 people can carry out the action in 30 minutes. If you are interested in organizing a delegation, the USW will provide you with a list of distributor locations in your district and you can choose which one is best for getting this organized.  A leaflet, letter and signs will also be provided. Please look for more information to come from your district director.

Accelerating the Energy Transition to Deep Decarbonization: Infrastructure, Jobs and Equity

To kick off Earth Week celebrations, the Labor Energy Partnership hosted a virtual forum, “Accelerating the Energy Transition: Infrastructure, Jobs and Equity.” The event underscored the importance of coalition building and the need to recognize all affected sectors on the pathway to decarbonization.

High profile leaders across all industries spoke at the event, including U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and over 600 people tuned in for the virtual event, which took place on April 19.

The Labor Energy Partnership (LEP) was announced last year, an initiative to develop a framework for the 21st century energy system that creates and preserves quality jobs while addressing the climate crisis. USW International Vice President At Large Roxanne Brown participated in a panel entitled “Manufacturing Matters – How Industrial Decarbonization Can Rebuild America’s Supply Chains” along with American Forestry and Paper Industry President and CEO Heidi Brock.

Vice President Brown stressed the importance of equity in investment and supporting supply chains. Brock highlighted the paper industry’s inherently circular nature from the trees that regrow and become supply fiber, to the biomass residuals that power our paper mills, and then on to the paper and packaging that is later recycled, starting the process over.

A photo of the panelists is just below, and you can view the discussion at the following Youtube link, beginning at the 1 hour 16-minute mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umdpX_ZVOGU.

Safety

Updated Information for Travelers around COVID-19

The CDC has released new information for fully-vaccinated individuals who are traveling within the United States. The current guidelines state:

Industry Update

El Dorado Packaging Purchased by ProAmpac Holdings

USW Locals 662 & 769L – El Dorado Packaging – Rosemount, Minn., & El Dorado, Ark. – El Dorado Packaging was sold by private equity company Industrial Opportunity Partners to ProAmpac Holdings last week in a full stock purchase.

El Dorado was formed in September 2014 through the acquisitions and merger of the Multiwall Packaging Division of Greif and El Dorado Paper Bag Manufacturing Company.

Based in Rosemount, Minn., El Dorado Packaging is a manufacturer of paper packaging used for agricultural seed, animal feed and supplements, flour, sugar and pet food applications.

The company has three manufacturing facilities, two of which are USW-represented and located in Rosemount, Minn., and El Dorado, Ark.

ProAmpac is a global, flexible packaging, bag company with ties to the food & beverage, health care, beauty, lawn & garden, pet and retail markets. Approximately 100 USW members will be impacted by the sale. 

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 ldonovan@usw.org, or at 412-562-2504.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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