Monday Morning Minute: Nov. 1, 2021

Union Work

It’s Time to Stop Screwing Around with Infrastructure

USW International President Tom Conway recorded a new video giving the latest on the fight for infrastructure and investment in Steelworkers’ jobs. The investments provided in the pending infrastructure legislation are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild our country and bring back jobs that we have lost after decades of spending on tax breaks and wars. As President Conway states in this video, “If we do this right, if we build stuff, if we make stuff, if we modernize and insist that it’s done with our labor, we’ll have good jobs and good work for a generation.” Watch and share the new video, which can be found at the following link: https://youtu.be/J3PbOeamwss.

United States International Trade Commission Has Voted to Implement Antidumping Duty Margins on Thermal Paper Imports Determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce

USW Locals 2-469, 708 & 266 – Appvion, Kanzaki Specialty Papers & Domtar Corporation – Appleton, WI; Ware, MA & West Carrollton, OH

Last week, we reported that, in late September, the Department of Commerce provided final dumping margins in the USW-supported Thermal Paper trade case against imports from Germany, Japan, Korea and Spain and that the next step is for the United States International Trade Commission (US ITC) to vote to implement those duties.

On October 26th, we learned that the US ITC voted and affirmatively made the determination in this final phase of the investigation and duties will go into place for five years. A majority of the thermal paper that is produced in the United States is made by USW-represented companies and these antidumping duties will help to level the playing field for those domestic manufacturers. The USW continually fights for fair trade policies that help to preserve our members’ jobs by taking on the countries that cheaply dump products into the same competitive markets.

From Two Sides North America – Consumers Are Not Fooled by The Push to "Go Paperless."

Data from a recent survey conducted by Two Sides North America shows that nearly two in three American consumers aged 25 to 54 years old regularly print out hard copies of electronic documents from banks, government and other service providers. And for those who are 10 years out from retirement age and older, that number jumps to three in four.

The survey also found that consumers’ expectations for the option of paper communications – free of charge — remained resolute during the pandemic. This in spite of unprecedented disruptions forcing physical interactions into virtual connections. The survey showed that 78% of consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive important communications from their service providers, on paper or electronically, and 67% believe they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement.

It’s clear that American consumers value their paper products and the "Go Paperless" messaging bombarding consumers is not shifting behavior so much as it is swapping the burden and costs of maintaining paper copies of important documents.

Safety

Stop Use and Inspection Notice – 3M DBI-SALA Nano-Lok Self-Retracting Lifeline with Anchor Hook

3M Fall Protection has identified a very low potential for the DBI-SALA® Nano-Lok™ Self Retracting Lifeline with Anchor Hook to be assembled with an unformed top swivel eye rivet. An improperly formed rivet may become displaced from the top swivel eye. An unformed rivet may result in the SRL becoming detached from the anchor hook, which could result in severe injury or death.

While there have not been any accidents or injuries related to the potential rivet condition, the product should be removed from service until an inspection is performed. To view the recall notice and check your equipment, click here: Nano-Lok-Rivet-Inspection-Notice-100721.pdf (gravitec.com)

Industry Update

Roaring Spring Park (Former Appvion) Auctions Off Paper Machines at Roaring Spring, PA Mill

USW Local 10-422 – Appvion – Roaring Spring, PA

Roaring Spring Park, the LLC that purchased the former Appvion mill located in Roaring Spring, PA, has auctioned off the papermaking equipment left from its acquisition, effectively abolishing any intention of marketing the site as a turnkey operation. According to local news outlet, the Altoona Mirror, the facility’s boiler and “pulp-related infrastructure” remain, however, so there may still be an opportunity for a buyer to restart operations to produce an intermediate product.

Two USW Paper Sites Featured on T.V. Show, “Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things”

USW Locals 2-1822 & 2-20 – Dixon Ticonderoga (former Pacon) & Ahlstrom-Munksjo – Neenah & Kaukauna, WI

An episode of “Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things” aired on the Magnolia Network featuring two USW-represented paper companies. The show tells the stories of how iconic, American-made products are made. Episode 3 of Season 2, which aired on October 15th, highlights construction paper produced by Ahlstrom-Munksjo and Dixon Ticonderoga (former Pacon) mills located in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley’s “Paper Valley” region. The two companies have worked collaboratively for almost 20 years creating colored school and craft construction papers.

The episode details basic paper-making systems, from the sustainable harvesting and chipping trees to the digesting and hydropulping processes. Many of us in the industry already know how trees become pulp, and how that pulp becomes paper through various dryer systems; but, it was interesting to learn that these sites produce over 33 different colors of construction paper and it only takes 8 ounces of dried, powdered dye to create over 2000 pounds of those vibrant products. The episode can be streamed on Discovery+ and the Magnolia app.

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 ldonovan@usw.org, 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