Monday Morning Minute: October 28, 2019

Union Work

Verso “Luke Strong” Mill Video

After Verso announced that it would shut down the coated paper mill in Luke, Md., the USW New Media Department traveled to the town to chronicle the impact of the closure. Luke is a town whose identity has revolved around the paper mill for 131 years. Despite the distressing news, the community has rallied around the local membership, creating a sense of hope and unity. Click here to watch the moving video.


Driver Rescued after his Car is Impaled by Logs from a Truck

A driver in Georgia was rescued after his car was impaled by logs from the front windshield to the back window. He survived only because he happened to be bending down to pick something up that he had dropped and was not in the upright position when he rear-ended the truck.   The driver involved in this incident is incredibly lucky; unfortunately, members of the USW paper sector have not been as fortunate.

On February 21, 2018, a paper mill employee was fatally injured when his personal vehicle struck the rear end of a log truck with protruding logs in dense fog and poor lighting. In that incident, a log truck driver realized that the logs his truck was carrying did not have orange stripes painted on the logs signifying that they were safe to be unloaded. After entering the mill road, the log truck turned into a staging area and the mill employee struck the protruding logs.

The USW continues to raise issues our members face driving on mill access roads around log truck traffic. A hazard alert with recommendations to prevent recurrence was put together subsequent to the aforementioned incident. Click here to view.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall – Decathlon USA Rocky Screwgate Carabiners

This recall involves Rocky Screwgate aluminum and pear-shaped carabiners with a small gate and screwgate. They were sold under the SIMOND brand in yellow (item number 1760147) and blue (item number 1759997). The brand name is engraved on the side of the product. Incorrect assembly can cause the carabiner to unlock while in use, posing a risk of serious injury or death to the user.

Click here to view more details on the recall and share widely.

Industry Update

Paper and Packaging Board Releases First Annual Workplace Productivity Report

The Paper and Packaging Board released a new annual report exploring how digital technology affects productivity in the workplace. The survey found that 9 out of 10 American workers spend most of their day staring at a computer screen – an average of seven hours per day. About half of office professionals are suffering from digital overload and feel that it makes them less productive. The study also found that 96 percent of office professionals prefer to work with hard copies over digital versions of the same information.

While digital and electronic advances will undoubtedly continue to play a big role in innovation, paper plays a large role in how workers efficiently process information and complete tasks. The USW paper sector produces many of the paper products that offices utilize. Click here for more findings from the study.

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