Monday Morning Minute: Feb. 6, 2017


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

New Campaign Promotes Forest Sustainability Council (FSC) as One Simple Action with a Profound Impact

For the first time, six publicly traded companies – some of which are competitors – have come together to promote the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) directly to consumers. The companies are HP Inc., International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. All sell FSC-certified products, and three of these companies (International Paper, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble) have facilities that are represented by USW.

Launching with a video titled “One Simple Action,” the campaign represents an unprecedented corporate-NGO partnership, which includes FSC and World Wildlife Fund. The goal is to encourage consumers to purchase products bearing the FSC label, which means the forests the products came from were managed responsibly.

For more information on the Campaign, copy and paste the following link into your browser: To view the “One Simple Action” campaign video, copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Research Laboratory Receives $1 Million in Federal Grant Money to Help Maine Economy Recover after Mill Closures – Includes $200,000 EPA Grant for former Verso Bucksport Mill Site

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory based in Oak Ridge, TN began during the Atomic Age and had a part in the Manhattan Project, is one of the most innovative research and development facilities in the country. It was created in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project and is home to some of the world’s largest supercomputers and sources of neutrons.

The $1 million in federal grant money will help planners research the worldwide forest products industry and Maine’s role within it.   The money will aid mill site redevelopment, broadband access for mill communities, small business support and high school training programs, officials said. The grants include $200,000 under the Brownfield Area-Wide Planning program for redevelopment of the Verso Bucksport Mill site, and $145,000 to the Maine International Trade Center.

The softwood pulp market losses, which include paper manufacturing declines, represent about a quarter of the state’s total forest products industry markets. Representing 33,538 total jobs, the $8.5 billion industry has potential for expansion into new products cross-laminated timbers, composite woods and biofuels.


USW-IP Box Safety Committee Convenes at Anaheim, CA Box Plant

The IP-USW Box Safety Committee met in Anaheim, CA on January 25 and 26th. On January 25, the USW representatives on the committee toured the Anaheim facility and met to discuss safety among the USW-represented IP box facilities. On January 26, the USW representatives on the Committee convened with IP representatives including the IP North America Containers Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Leadership and Labor and Human Resources leadership.

The full Committee reviewed the safety initiatives of both organizations in 2016 and 2017 and developed areas of common engagement for the Committee including:

1) Location safety committee effectiveness;

2) Promoting employee engagement particularly around machine safeguarding initiatives;

3) Increasing communication effectiveness; and

4) The right to act as it pertains to unsafe work or conditions.

On increasing communication effectiveness, the local union representatives on the committee will be reaching out to the local union leaders in their geographical areas.  This is occurring so that the local union leaders are included on the monthly IP EHS calls with their management counterparts to insure safety efforts within IP’s container division are communicated to union leadership and labor/management safety committees are fully engaged in the EHS work. The Committee will convene again in August and conduct conference calls as needed to move the work of the Committee forward in 2017.

Leeann Foster, Assistant to the USW International President and Steve Sallman, USW Health, Safety and Environment serve on the Committee along with the following Local Union representatives:

Roger Nelson, Anaheim, CA –

Rodney Raines, Morristown, TN –

Tom Simek, Shakopee, MN –

Bob Tapp, Barrington, NJ facility –

The Local Union representatives will be in contact with the locals in their geographical area to ensure participation in the monthly EHS calls and to further the work of the Committee.  IP Box Local Union Presidents should feel free to reach out to them if you do not receive information on the monthly EHS calls. The USW IP Container facilities will also receive a more specific newsletter on the work of this Committee in the very near future.

Industry Update

AF&PA Elects Clearwater Paper CEO, Linda Massman, as New Chair and Announces Officers and USW Convenes Meeting with AF&PA Legislative Staff on Joint Priorities for 2017

The American Forest & Paper Association announced the election of Clearwater paper Corporation President and CEO, Linda Massman, as the new AF&PA Board Chair. Also release was the 2017 slate of AF&PA Board Officers at the Association’s Winter Board of Directors’ Meeting in Washington on January 26th.

Linda Massman was elected as Clearwater Paper’s Chief Executive Officer in 2013 after serving as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer since 2011 and Chief Financial Officer from 2008 to 2011. Before joining Clearwater Paper, she served as Group Vice President of Finance and Corporate Planning for SUPERVALU Inc. and as a business strategy consultant for Accenture. Prior to being elected Chair of the AF&PA Board, she served as Vice Chair and as AF&PA PAC Co-Chair.

Also elected as officers are Evergreen Packaging Inc. President and CEO, John Rooney (First Vice Chair) and Greif, Inc. President and CEO, Peter Watson (Second Vice Chair). PCA Chair and CEO, Mark Kowlzan, will serve as immediate past chair.

USW Vice President Jon Geenen and the USW Legislative Staff met with AF&PA Legislative Staff on January 30 to identify joint priorities for legislative work in the coming year.

USW Local 2-148 – Graphic Packaging – Menasha, WI – Facility Closed

Graphic Packaging International Inc. announced in May that it planned to close its plant at 160 Washington St. in Menasha by the end of the year, laying off 228 employees. The plant manufactured folding cartons for consumer goods, mostly for the food industry.

The decision was based on the capabilities of the plant and its supply chain infrastructure, company spokeswoman Sue Appleyard said at the time. “We have acquired other facilities recently that have state-of-the-art capabilities,” she said.


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