Monday Morning Minute: June 27, 2022

Union Work

Tentative Agreement Reached with Packaging Corporation of America Converting Sites

USW Locals 37M, 231, 402, 475, 795, 803, 874, 895, 955, 1035, 1237, 1259, 1560, 1676, 1730, 1774, 3937, 1-220, 12-990, 2-200, 2-1005, 7-555, 8-699 & 9-212 – Packaging Corporation of America – Gas City, Ind.; Burlington, Wis.; Grandville, Mich.; Winter Haven, Fla.; Mascot, Tenn.; Marshfield, Wis.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Arlington, Texas; Garland, Texas; Liverpool, N.Y.; Lancaster, Pa.; Newark, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minn.; Ashland, Ohio; Middletown, Ohio; Salisbury, N.C.; Marshalltown, Iowa; Phoenix, Ariz.; Akron, Ohio; Wallula, Wash.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Plymouth, Mich.; Vincennes, Ind.; Richmond, Va., & Jackson, Tenn.

Last week USW local leaders from 25 Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) converting facilities and USW PCA Council leadership met with PCA management to bargain a new Master Agreement.  The Tentative Agreement with PCA includes the best-in-industry overall wage pattern.

If ratified, the TA will also preserve our members’ industry-leading healthcare plan with no changes for an additional six years.  The bargaining committee also gained additional weeks of vacation for many of the 25 facilities, and moved up eligibility for existing weeks of vacation, shortened S&A waiting periods and made significant strides in safety.

Newly Organized Essity Site in Greenwich, N.Y. Ratified First Contract

Last year, Essity workers at the company’s Greenwich, N.Y., tissue converting site overwhelmingly voted to join the USW. Our newest members of the USW paper sector ratified their first local contract last week, which also brings them into the Essity Master Agreement along with six other USW-represented sites.

The group achieved significant local gains and, through the Master Agreement, locked in economic provisions, such as health care, retirement and vacation allotments, until 2025. Local Union President Mike Marshall also, importantly, underscored that “now, things can’t just change because management wants it to.”

About bargaining for the first time, Marshall said: “There was a big learning curve as a non-union facility. Overall, the bargaining committee did a great job. Once we got the basics down, we ended up with things to build on and grow.”

Ahead of negotiations, the local sent bargaining surveys to the membership to gauge the most important issues to be addressed in the contract. Wage increases and health care ranked high on the surveys for this group.

The hope of having representation, undoubtedly, influenced the local’s ratification turnout since 92 percent of eligible members voted on the first agreement.

“There were several attempts [in the past] to bring the union in,” Marshall said. “We didn’t have protection or a voice, and the workers here realized the benefit of being represented.”


Tony Mazzocchi Center Training Opportunities Available

A reminder that the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center provides training through various programs. Trainings that could be beneficial to USW paper sector locals include: Hazardous Disaster Preparedness—focusing on emergency response and control, Occupational Safety and Health outreach, and general industry and construction training, plus more.

To request training or inquire about site-specific training, please contact the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center at 412-562-2359 or email Review and download the USWTMC course catalog  by clicking here.

Industry Update

Green Bay Packaging Held Ribbon-Cutting at its New Facility in Tulsa, Okla.

USW Local 9227 – Green Bay Packaging – Tulsa, Okla. – Late last month, Green Bay Packaging celebrated the $90 million investment at its new Tulsa, Okla., corrugating “super plant” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 540,000-square-foot site replaces the company’s former 180,000-square-foot Tulsa facility, represented by the USW. The new plant is equipped with a 110” Fosber corrugator and all new, state-of-the-art, high speed flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters.

District staff worked to ensure that the membership would continue to be covered under the existing collective bargaining agreement after the announced plant move. The new converting site began full production in February of this year.

Dunn Paper Mill in Gouverneur, N.Y., Gains Support from Industrial Development Agency to Improve Railroad Used to Ship Paper

USW Local 687 – Dunn Paper – Gouverneur, N.Y. – Dunn Paper’s Natural Dam tissue mill located in Gouverneur, N.Y., has received support from the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to fix a nearby rail spur so that it can run rail traffic directly to the site. The IDA will finance the $494,000 project through federal grant money.

Resuming direct rail service to the site would help keep the mill economically viable, as shipping transportation costs would be reduced. The mill makes specialty tissue paper products, such as colored napkins and disposable medical face masks and gowns. 

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