Monday Morning Minute: August 5, 2019

Union Work

USW Files Anti-Circumvention Inquiry Seeking Uncoated Paper Orders on Rolls from Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Portugal

On August 2, the USW joined with several domestic paper producers – Domtar, Packaging Corporation of America, North Pacific Paper Company, and Finch Paper – in filing a request with the U.S. Department of Commerce to address the circumvention of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on uncoated paper imports. The original case covered uncoated paper in sheets, largely copy paper.  Foreign producers have shifted to flooding the United States with essentially the same product but doing so in rolls which are then converted into sheets. This is now having the same devastating impact on domestic producers and workers.  

Click here to read the entire press release from the USW.

USW Locals 1778, 2-15, 2-20, 2-221, & 2-316 Achieve Tentative Agreement with Ahlstrom-Munksjo

After months of local bargaining, the locals representing the Rhinelander, Mosinee and Kaukauna mills convened in June and July to reach a deal on master economics and security issues covering over 1,200 workers. The master and local agreements will be voted on during the month of August and details will be shared with the members.

Butch Lewis Act Passes in the House

On July 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 397 – the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act – addressing the pension crisis that threatens about 1.3 million workers. The legislation will help fund multiemployer pension plans, like the Pace Industry-Union Management Pension Fund (PIUMPF), by providing initiatives like low-interest loans to assist in funding the plans, and ensuring that workers retain their hard-earned retirement benefits.

The bill passed the House with support from every Democrat and 29 Republicans, through a 264-169 vote. The legislation has been introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan committee and it will be deliberated this fall.

Safety

Updated Stop Use & Product Recall – 3M™ DBI-SALA® Nano-Lok™ edge and Wrap Back Twin-Leg Self Retracting Lifelines

3M Fall Protection announces an immediate stop use and product recall of the 3M™ DBI-SALA® Twin-Leg Nano-Lok™ edge and the Twin-Leg Nano-Lok™ Wrap Back Self-Retracting Lifeline. These Twin-Leg Nano-Loks are used as part of a personal fall protection system that connects two self-retracting lifelines/devices (SRLs/SRDs) directly under the dorsal D-ring of a worker’s harness.

The Twin-Leg Nano-Lok edge is intended to be anchored at foot-level, is designed for sharp and/or leading edge applications, and incorporates an energy absorber. The Twin-Leg Nano-Lok Wrap Back is intended for wrapping around an anchor and incorporates a similar energy absorber. 3M has determined that in a fall and under certain conditions, the energy absorber of these devices may not properly deploy, which could expose the worker to serious injury or death. There have been no reports of accidents or injuries associated with this issue; these products must be removed from service immediately.

Click here to read the entire product recall notice.

***Last week, we reported that the OSHA citation at the Graphic Packaging facility in Queen City, Texas, occurred at a non-union facility. The USW represents the facility located in Queen City; however it is commonly referred to as the Texarkana, Texas, mill due to its proximity to the city.

Mike Moore, president of Local 1148 representing the production side of the mill, says that the incident occurred on the maintenance side of the mill and USW Local 1149, representing that department, is involved in the investigation.

We regret the error and are monitoring the results of the investigation. We will report out on any pertinent findings to the sector.

Industry Update

Sappi to Acquire Rayonier Advanced Materials Mill in Matane, Quebec

USW Locals 304, 1069, 11-63, & 4-9 – Sappi – Allentown, Pa.; Westbrook, Maine; Cloquet, Minn.; & Skowhegan, Maine – Sappi announced that it would acquire Rayonier Advanced Materials’ hardwood pulp mill located in Matane, Quebec, for $175 million. The transaction is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year. Sappi specializes in specialty paper and packaging products, and this acquisition will increase Sappi’s pulp integration and reduce costs for its packaging paper businesses in North America and Europe.

The USW represents approximately 1,000 workers at Sappi across four mills in the United States. While the Rayonier Advanced Materials mill in Matane, Quebec, is not represented by the USW, several other of the company’s mills in Canada are represented by the union.

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 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