Monday Morning Minute: Jan. 23, 2016


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

Jefferson Awards/USW Cares

The deadline is fast approaching for the 2017 USW Cares/Jefferson Awards to honor outstanding public service. The closing date for submitting nominations is February 1st. Please note that you can nominate yourself or another person.

One winner will be selected from each district and from SOAR by an impartial panel of judges. From those, the USW winner with the top overall score will represent our union at the Jefferson Awards national ceremony in Washington, DC in June.  

If you recall, last year, our USW winner won the top prize at this prestigious event. Nominations with the most detail about the community service work, the nominees' role in the service and its impact score the best. 

Click here to submit a nomination.

USW Locals 364 & 654-01 – Graphic Packaging – West Monroe, LA – Graphic Packaging to Consolidate Converting with $70M Louisiana Plant

Graphic Packaging is planning a consolidation and expansion project around two folding carton plants near its big West Monroe, LA paperboard mill. The site for the project is likely to be located in the same area, but the exact location will not be decided until the second quarter.

Ground breaking is anticipated in two months and the new plant would start up in 2019, more than doubling the size of the two existing plants to 460,000 ft2, with 784,000 ft2 of warehouse space. Employment will be reduced from 400 to 300 due to new automation and technology.

An extension of the current contract was negotiated as well as a 4 year deal for the new facility with pay increases and benefits. Thanks go out to all those responsible for the deal saving hundreds of area union jobs for many years to come. Lead bargainer Luis Mendoza, USW Local 654 union President Daryl Johnson and committee are to be congratulated for the parts they played. This is a state of the art carton plant that will provide good paying union jobs for many years to come.

Paper Industry Still a Vital Part of Maine’s Economy

The death of Maine's pulp and paper industry is highly exaggerated. That's the conclusion of a new preliminary report by Mindy Crandall, an assistant professor of Forest Management and Economics at the University of Maine.

Though eight major biomass power generators and paper companies have disappeared from the map in Maine since the last time the industry conducted an economic analysis of the forest products market six years ago, Crandall told those attending a meeting of the Forest Resources Association in Brewer that forest products are still a vital component of Maine's overall economy.

"We tend to hear a lot of the bad press about the forest products industry and we sort of don't take into account the real historical view," Crandall said. "The fact is we're in about the same historical position in terms of its economic impact and value as we were in 2011. So yeah, some mills have closed and some of those were big important mills, but the mills that are still remaining tend to employ a lot more people and have a lot more output than the ones that have closed."

Crandall says her preliminary findings suggest that despite the loss of 1,800 jobs in the paper-making and biomass energy sectors, the forest products industry will have a 2016 sales output of $8.5 billion, compared to $9.8 billion in 2014.

The “One Simple Action” video can be viewed here. For more information click here.



Remember to Send in Names of your Full Time Safety Representatives

We will be conducting more of these training under the OSHA grant this year. These folks should be actual full time employees who work in a safety role in your facility.

Please contact Laura Donovan at or 412-562-2504, and provide the following information:




Mill or Converter or Other (if other please specify): 

Local Union #:

Local Union President:                                                Email:                                      Cell:

Union Safety Representative:                                    Email:                                      Cell:


Industry Update

USA Extends ADDs and CVDs on Certain Coated Paper Imports from China and Indonesia Originally Instituted As Part of Trade Cases Brought by USW

The US Department of Commerce has issued a notice of continuation of the anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty orders on imports of certain coated paper from China and Indonesia.  This action officially extends duties originally issued as a part of trade cases brought by the USW. This officially extends the punitive tariffs for another five years.

The notice follows a determination by the US International Trade Commission that revoking the duties would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of material injury to the US paper industry.

The duties cover coated paper and paperboard in sheets suitable for high-quality print graphics using sheet-fed presses, having a GE brightness level of 80 or higher and weighing not more than 340 g/m2, but exclude those already printed with final content printed text or graphics.

As a result, the relevant imports of Chinese coated paper to the USA will continue to face an ADD varying from 3.64% to 135.84% and a CVD of between 19.46% and 202.84%. Indonesian products will remain subject to a 20.13% ADD and a 17.94% CVD.

The extended duty orders will be subject to review again before they expire in January 2022.

Verso Appoints New CEO

On January 12, 2017, Verso announced that B. Christopher DiSantis will become the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Verso effective as of February 1, 2017. DiSantis.

Prior to joining Verso, DiSantis served in executive leadership roles for several companies, most recently at H-D Advanced Manufacturing Company since 2012. Prior to that, from 2011 to 2012, DiSantis served as CEO of Latrobe Specialty Metals, Inc., which is represented by USW  local 1537 in Latrobe, PA.

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