Monday Morning Minute: Aug 14, 2017


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

From AFL-CIO – Union-Made in America School Supplies – Paper Products:


Update on OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda

The Office of Management and Budget released its Regulatory Agenda on July 20th. The Regulatory Agenda is what it sounds like: a plan and timeline for each agency's regulations, what the next steps are and when they are expected. The Regulatory Agenda is released every Spring and Fall.

The most notable standard to be dropped from the Agenda is a long planned OSHA standard intended to prevent Combustible Dust explosions. The combustible dust standard was one of the first new initiatives placed on the Obama administration's regulatory agenda in 2009, following a catastrophic 2008 sugar dust explosion at Imperial Sugar in Port Wentworth, Georgia that killed 14 workers and seriously injured 36 others.

The Chemical Safety Board had previously issued a comprehensive report on combustible dust hazards, calling on OSHA to issue a standard, and the House of Representatives passed a bill in 2008 that would have required OSHA to issue a standard. The Senate never acted. Because of the complexity and cost of controlling these explosions, the Obama administration made little progress on this standard over eight years.


Industry Update

USW Local 381-12 – Cascades Containerboard Packaging – Maspeth, NY – Company Will Close Packaging Facility by End of 2018

Cascades announced that it will close a packaging plant located in Maspeth, NY as part of its modernization and optimization efforts in the Northeastern United States. The closure will take place before December 31, 2018, and will impact approximately 145 jobs.      

International Paper – Q2 Results and Q3 Outlook from BMO Capital Markets Analysts

International Paper’s Q2 results were in line with BMO analysts’ expectations. Higher prices, sharply lower maintenance and strong box demand should boost 2nd half fiscal year EBITDA and drive cash flows.

Key Points:

IP’s Industrial Packaging had good financial quarters. Box demand remains healthy. IP's July volumes +5% y/y, and IP expects a "vast majority" of its box hike to flow-thru by Q3. 2015 debottlenecking and Valliant restart will about 5% more capacity by 2018.

Global Cellulose Fibers business also had a good financial quarter. Adjusted EBIT of $12mm, Q1 EBIT loss $51mm. Results aided by $45/mton of prices and $34mm synergies. There appears upside to $175mm Weyerhaeuser cellulose synergy target.

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