Monday Morning Minute: June 20, 2022

Union Work

Overtime Meeting with WestRock Sioux City, Iowa

USW Local 1257 – WestRock – Sioux City, Iowa – Last week, USW paper leadership met with Local 1257 at WestRock in Sioux City, Iowa, to kickstart a labor/management overtime project. USW and WestRock leadership discussed the issues surrounding excessive mandatory overtime.

They reviewed initiatives to reduce excessive overtime, such as operational changes, training, scheduling, turnover/retention of workers and more in order to fully craft a plan that can be put into place and then rolled out across other WestRock box plants.  Paper sector leadership will continue this work at other WestRock sites in the future.

Wage Adjustment Meeting Conducted at Jackson Mill as Part of Work that Came out of Recent Master Agreement

USW Locals 1083 & 361 – Packaging Corporation of America – Jackson, Ala. – Last week, local leaders and district and paper sector staff met with local and corporate leadership from Packaging Corporation of America to discuss potential wage adjustments for certain positions within departments at the Jackson, Ala., mill. The commitment to meet over wages at the Jackson mill was part of the work that came out of recent master bargaining with the PCA mill system after local leadership brought concerns over attraction and retention issues to the table.

The new Master also establishes joint discussion and resolution sessions that will occur regionally every two years, beginning in 2023. Designed to improve the current renewal bargaining process, the sessions will provide the opportunity for an audit of site issues, such as monetary items not covered by the master, staffing, overtime, attraction, retention, turnover and more.

While regular, local labor-management meetings are the best place to resolve location issues, the discussion and resolution sessions will provide an opportunity for each site to elevate outstanding issues that require additional troubleshooting from USW staff, corporate human resources and labor leadership.


Schneider Electric Recall for Electrical Panels Due to Thermal Burn and Fire Hazards

Schneider Electric issued a recall involving indoor, outdoor and original equipment manufacturer Square D QO Plug-On Neutral Load Centers that were installed in homes in addition to commercial establishments, including warehouses and manufacturing facilities, which could impact paper mills. The circuit breaker boxes were sold in gray and come in various sizes (square and rectangular).

Schneider Electric is directly contacting all known retailers, distributors, homeowners and any other individuals who purchased or installed the recalled product. All purchasers and installers should immediately contact Schneider Electric to arrange to have the recalled load centers inspected by trained electricians to determine if replacement or repair is required.

For more information and a list of the impacted product numbers, visit: Schneider ElectricTM Recalls 1.4 Million Electrical Panels Due to Thermal Burn and Fire Hazards |

Occupational Safety and Health Summer Summit – June 22

On Wednesday, June 22, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will host a virtual summer summit covering a broad range of workplace safety and health issues. Workshops that could be beneficial to the paper sector include topics such as heat stress, human and organizational performance (HOP), warehouse safety, severe weather safety and preparedness, flammable and combustible liquids and more.

To register, click the following link: Iris Login. You will have to create an account with “Iris”, which is the secure online system being used to manage registration for the event.

Industry Update

Huhtamaki to Make $100 Million Investment at its Hammond, Ind., Molded Fiber Plant

USW Local 645 – Huhtamaki – Hammond, Ind. – Huhtamaki recently announced that it will be expanding its molded fiber products manufacturing site in Hammond, Ind., as part of its investment in fiber solutions. The investment will include a new 250,000-square-foot addition adjacent to the existing site and state-of-the-art technology. One hundred new, good-paying jobs will be created as a result.

Groundbreaking on the investment took place on June 8, and production is expected to start up by early 2023. The new building will be constructed by the end of this year.

Huhtamaki produces sustainable, fully recyclable and compostable fiber-based packaging. The USW-represented site in Hammond manufactures molded fiber drink carriers and egg filler trays for grocery and retail outlets.

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, or at 412-562-2504.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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