Monday Morning Minute: May 9, 2022

Union Work

USW Local 13029 – Greif – Van Wert, OH – A Reminder of what it Means to be Part of a Union Family (Submitted by Vice President Nick Subler)

Rod Stout is a maintenance man at our plant. Rod entered a cell by opening a safety interlock that was supposed to cut all energy to the equipment. As he was inspecting a chuck that was leaving pin holes in the liner of our fiber drums, the machine cycled and drove Rod’s face into the top of the chuck and then pinned him between the chuck and the arm of the machine.

Rod sustained serious injuries to his face and neck which required reconstructive surgery. He received over 100 stitches from his chin to his jaw line. He has a metal rod supporting his broken jaw and a plate in his chin. He also will require extensive dental work. As of April 30, his jaw has been unwired but he is still unable to open his mouth very far and is unable to chew. Rod is still dealing with a lot of pain and swelling and is very concerned about preventing infection. He also has braces attached to his top gum line.

We at Local 13029, representing Greif’s Van Wert, OH fiber drum converter, organized a raffle for Rod at our plant of approximately 96 members. Our membership made a total of approximately $1200. Steve Salazar and myself brought around 37 bottles of alcohol and a 100-can Coleman cooler to the District 1 Education Conference in Detroit to raise money on Mr. Stout’s behalf. During the week at the Conference, we raised $6,500 for the Stout family.

Obviously, the support, generosity and care for our Brother was unbelievable. This is a testament to how big of hearts Steelworkers have. We would like for this story to be shared far and wide because this is how we should stand behind our Union brothers and sisters. One thing I can say for sure is that when a Steelworker is down, Steelworkers pull together. I want to say on Rod’s behalf THANK YOU to everyone for their contributions. Rod is extremely grateful and the extra will definitely help him and his family”.

Week 4 of International Paper Mill Master Education Sessions

USW Locals 9-795, 1488, 1167 & 9-738 – International Paper – Savannah, GA; Franklin, VA; New Bern, NC & Riegelwood, NC – Week 4 of International Paper Mill Master Education Sessions and Discussions concluded on Thursday, and consisted of visits to the Savannah, GA, Franklin, VA, New Bern. NC and Riegelwood, NC mills.

Each of the mills are producers of fluff and market pulp, with the exception of the Savannah mill, which manufactures containerboard.

As we have previously reported about these meetings, Paper Sector and International Paper leadership are visiting each of the USW-represented mills within the company’s system to discuss the wage structure present at the company and review the history of bargaining in the Council so that everyone involved in bargaining the next master agreement has the same foundational knowledge going into negotiations.





Request for Aid from the Trade Union of IndustriALL Affiliate, The Metalworkers and Miners of Ukraine

The USW recently received a request for aid from the Trade Union of the Metalworkers and Miners of Ukraine, a fellow affiliate of the global union-federation, IndustriALL. These union members make steel, just like we do, at ArcelorMittal’s Kryvyi Rih facility. Many of them have elected to stay and fight, and they need supplies ranging from helmets to socks to bandages so they can continue to defend their city and their loved ones.

If you or your local make a contribution, the USW will bundle them together and transmit them at once, crediting your contributions by name, local and location. As this war drags on, and their need grows ever greater, we know Steelworkers will continue to stand in global solidarity with Ukrainian workers, doing everything we can to help them withstand these atrocities.

To make a contribution, visit the following link:


PRODUCT ADVISORY (not a recall) – Select 3M DBI-SALA ExoFit XP Arc Flash Harnesses

3M Fall Protection recently conducted a routine test of its safety and personal protective equipment and has issued a Product Advisory for the 3M DBI-SALA ExoFit XP Arc Flash Harness, as a result. The Arc Flash Standard (ASTM F887) requires that all arc flash rated harnesses be subjected to an Arc Flash followed by a successful dynamic drop test.

A recent review of the test results of specific DBI-SALA ExoFit XP Arc Flash harnesses has found the potential for inconsistent performance during an arc flash event at the attachment clips located on the back of the harness. The affected harnesses were manufactured between January 2005 and July 2021, and include 3M part numbers 1111650, 1111651, 1111652, and 1111653.

There are no known accidents or injuries related to the condition, however end users should inspect any 3M DBI-SALA Arc Flash Harnesses that they may have to confirm that it is one of the affected part numbers manufactured within the dates listed above and follow the instructions contained at the following link: Arc-Flash-Clips-Advisory-041122-1.pdf (

Industry Update

Coated Freesheet Paper Prices Hit Record Levels

Recent price hikes on coated freesheet have brought levels to a new historic high in North America since 2010. In 2022, coated freesheet prices have increased $75/ton and are more than $200/ton higher than prices in April 2021.

Risi analysts report that suppliers implemented price increases that varied from 8-12%, or $50-$80/ton, in February through April of this year. And on top of the price increases, suppliers have been applying surcharges that average $60-$80/ton.

The USW-represented employers that have been the drivers of these price increases are Billerud (formerly Verso), Sappi and ND Paper.

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 412-562-2446

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