Monday Morning Minute: July 3, 2017


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

USW Local 645 – Huhtamaki – Hammond, IN – New Local Agreement Reached

The local ratified a new three year deal that includes 7.5% in wage increases over the life of the agreement. On top of the % increase in years 1 and 3 of the contract, a $0.50 per hour increase was negotiated for mechanics and electricians; and a $0.05 general increase was added to the wage rate for certain job classifications in material handling in year 1 of the contract. The local also negotiated increases in life insurance, weekly S&A benefits and shift differential.

Carbon Neutrality Legislative Language is Clarified by Congress Due, in Part, to USW Support

The language included in the Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations Bill now clarifies that federal regulatory policy includes the carbon-neutrality of forest-based biomass. USW President, Leo Gerard, co-authored an Op-Ed in The Hill last November and USW Paper Sector Vice President, Jon Geenen, Assistant to the President, Leeann Foster, and Assistant Legislative Director Roxanne Brown and Technician Keith Romig, each provided outreach to Congress and the Administration over the course of the last few years in support of this language.

AF&PA President and CEO, Donna Harman, issued the following statement regarding the passage of the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill. “U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers have for seven years sought clear policy direction on the carbon neutrality of forest-based renewable biomass energy. Thanks to Congressional action, federal agencies can now ensure the U.S. is no longer out of step with our global competitors. [This] action is the type of policy that can foster growth in U.S. manufacturing.”


USW Paper Sector: Full-Time Safety Representative/Advocate Course

We are pleased to announce that the USW Health, Safety and Environment Department and Tony Mazzocchi Center will be offering a five-day course, September 11th – 15th, 2017, specifically for USW full-time health and safety representatives/advocates working in the Paper Sector.

The course will incorporate current issues, problem-solving and strategic planning aimed at helping full-time USW safety and health representatives/ advocates in the paper sector meet current and future challenges. The highest numbers of fatalities and life-altering injuries in USW-represented facilities continue to take place in facilities that make and convert paper.

Click here for the call letter with the agenda and details on logistics. Once you have determined your Local’s attendance, please fill out the attached registration form and return it to Laura Donovan at: 60 Boulevard of the Allies, 10th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA  15222; fax: 412-562-2504; or The deadline for registering for the course is August 15th. Space will be limited to forty (40) participants and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will be notified of your attendance upon receiving your application.

USW Local 13-189 – International Paper – Bogalusa, LA – Local Union Safety Committee Completes Training under the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center’s Grant Program

On June 16, 2017, the Local completed its first training under the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center’s Grant Program. Within the union-only portion, the class discussed hazards faced in the industry, the problems solved and how to improve safety and health by increasing the effectiveness of safety committees. See below for photos from the training in Bogalusa.

A Local Union officer that attended the course said, “I found it informative and some things were eye opening. I look forward to the next class. Anytime we can get management to sit in on a union led class I think it's a win, especially in a class like that.”

*** As a result of proposed cuts to federal safety programs under OSHA, the Susan Harwood Grant program is at risk of being eliminated. Here are some things that you can do to help: Organize a delegation or call your Congressional representative; Help circulate the petition by posting on your Facebook or sharing with your email list. The previous link also contains talking points that you can use when contacting your representative.



Industry Update

Kimberly Clark and World Wildlife Federation to Engage Consumers in Helping to Save the World’s Forests

Kimberly-Clark began working with the WWF on forest conservation eight years ago, when it first joined WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN). The nine GFTN participants in North America, including Kimberly-Clark, continue to drive responsibly managed forests through their procurement practices.  This collaboration between WWF and Kimberly-Clark is a natural next step in advancing responsible forestry through education and engagement.

As part of a new campaign, the WWF logo will be on the package of Kimberly-Clark’s North American tissue products certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards, including Kleenex facial tissue, Scott paper towels, Viva paper towels and Cottonelle toilet paper. People will start to see the WWF logo on packaging from June 2017, starting with Scott paper towels. In addition Kimberly-Clark will also provide $4 million to support WWF’s efforts to protect forests and other critical ecosystems.

By raising awareness of the FSC logo and what it represents, WWF hopes to change the buying behaviors of North Americans so forests continue to provide people and wildlife with the clean air, fresh water, food and other “services” they need to survive.

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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