Monday Morning Minute: Dec. 11, 2017


Incident Alert

USW Local 2-94 Unit 01 – Catalyst Paper – Wisconsin Rapids, WI (Biron Mill)

On November 5, 2017, a member of USW Local 2-94 suffered multiple injuries to his left hand and arm. The complete details are unknown but preliminary information is that a winder helper, was attempting to remove loose paper, when his left hand and arm were caught in an in-going nip point on the #88 Winder.

A winder break occurred resulting in a need for a drum splice. The initial attempt to tail the winder resulted in the paper tail breaking off. The winder helper was positioned between the cradle and the drum that was turning at thread speed identified loose paper around the in-going nip between the roll of paper and front drum. While removing the loose paper, the winder helper’s fingers became caught in the unguarded in-going nip. His arm was drawn into the nip to the upper arm below the shoulder by the time the operator was able to hit the Emergency Stop.

Since the incident, the mill has stopped the practice of drum splices. Engineering designs and upgrades are being assessed.

Health, Safety and Environment Staff, Steve Sallman, is assisting the local with the investigation.


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

USW Local 2-505 – ST Tissue - Franklin, VA – Local Ratifies New Local Agreement

On November 10, the members of USW Local 2-505-2 who work at ST Tissue LLC in Franklin, VA ratified their first agreement by an overwhelming majority. This was a hard fought agreement that took over a year to negotiate.

The agreement which, is a 2 year agreement with a wage and benefit reopened in July of 2018, was able to secure improvements in health care, almost doubled the company match on the 401(k), secured vacation protection for people on FMLA and laid a solid foundation of language on which the members and future generations of Union leadership can build upon. ST Tissue LLC is a new startup that is operating out of the Franklin, VA facility that was previously being used by International Paper. 



2018 USW HSE Conference Schedule

The 2018 USW Health Safety and Environment Conference schedule-at-a-glance has been released:  HSE Conference Schedule.


Industry Update

USW Local 572 – Graphic Packaging – Macon, GA

In a joint press release by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, it was announced that Graphic Packaging will be investing about $136 million into its mill in Macon, GA. The mill makes paperboard used in packaging for the food and beverage industry. The investment will enhance its capability by adding a state-of-the-art curtain coater, automate certain processes, and upgrade the water, generator and air systems to improve the mill’s environmental profile.

USW Locals 597, 1096, 1319 & 1321 – Green Bay Packaging – Green Bay, WI – Company Evaluating Construction of New Machine

Green Bay Packaging announced that it is in the first phase of evaluating construction of a new, state-of-the-art recycled containerboard machine at its Green Bay Mill. The 220" machine would be operational in 2020 and would replace the Company's existing 164" trim machine, which was built in 1950.

Green Bay noted the investment would increase its recycled containerboard capacity by over 70%, which we estimate would be a ~300,000 ton/year capacity addition. Green Bay accounts for ~2% of N.A. containerboard capacity of ~40 million tons.

Retailers Taking another Look at Printed Catalogues Even as Online Buying Explodes

In a time of explosive growth for online buying, retailers and shoppers are showing renewed interest in a humble purchasing device that uses paper instead of pixels. For the first time since 2011, Sears Holdings sent out the Sears Wish Book, a holiday tradition for generations of children. Although this year’s catalog has the heft of a magazine rather than the phone-book size the department store chain produced when it was a retail juggernaut, the offerings are more extensive and searchable online.

Companies are using print catalogs to cut through email clutter and social media saturation, said Denise Lee Yohn, a retail brands expert. The catalogs help “differentiate brands and sustain existing customer relationships,” she said.

Fewer catalogs are in the mail these days, 9.8 billion in 2016 compared with the 2007 peak of 19.6 billion, but consumers are paying more attention to them than ever, according to research by the Data & Marketing Association and the U.S. Postal Service.

Click HERE to read the entire article.

Remember to share Monday Morning Minute in your work place and share your stories with us.  Send your information to Laura Donovan at

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

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