Monday Morning Minute: Sept. 25, 2017


Union Work – Collective Bargaining, Organizing, Arbitration, Worker Rights, Community Work, Political Work, Labor History

Domestic Violence Language

The USW has recently had success in other sectors negotiating contract language around domestic violence. Bridgestone Firestone employees now include language in their contract that states, “Benefits will be payable from the first day of an injury as a result of domestic violence.” The application of the “first day of an injury” is agreed to be either mental or physical. The initial documentation necessary to qualify would be admission into a domestic violence shelter/program, a police report, restraining or PFA order, statement from a mental health professional or physician.  Continuation would then be dependent upon verification from either a physician or mental health professional.

District 6 in Ontario, Canada also has a formal policy and model contract language around domestic and family violence situations. The policy says, “USW District 6 recognizes that members may experience domestic or family violence which, if not addressed with support and compassion, can have serious negative impacts on their health, safety, and economic security. We do not want our members to suffer discipline or job loss because of violence or abuse in their personal life. We do want to ensure that workplaces and union events are safe from incursions of domestic or family violence”

We would like to start including contract language on domestic violence in paper sector contracts. For examples of language, please contact Laura Donovan (; 412-562-2504).

USW Locals 1561, 9-447 & 444 – International Paper

On September 6, 2017 approximately 75 Union members from USW Locals 1561, 447, 444 and IBEW Local 1937 attended the first Semi-Annual Solidarity Rally at the Union Hall in Cantonment Florida. Members spent quality time discussing contract issues and enjoyed a dinner with Brothers and Sisters from all of the locals at International Paper’s Pensacola Mill. A photo from the event is just below.                                                         



Preventing Fatalities and Life Altering Injuries and Improving Safety and Health in the Paper Sector – USW Full-Time Safety and Health Representatives Course

On September 11-15, 2017, USW local union safety and health representatives in the Paper Sector participated in a week long course in Pittsburgh aimed at improving safety and health in the paper sector. 

New and experienced representatives worked together in large and small groups on current safety issues that could lead to fatalities and life altering injuries and how to get them addressed. The group discussed health and safety problems solved and what has been successful in getting problems solved; as well as health and safety problems currently unsolved, identifying barriers that will need to be resolved.

Topics for the class also included improving the effectiveness of safety and health committees; the USW’s “Looking for Trouble” Comprehensive Union-Management Safety and Health Program; the USW/TMC’s Triangle of Prevention Program; OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping requirements; using the Hierarchy of Controls/Systems of Safety to address hazards and hazardous conditions; the Right-to-Act; and strategic planning for getting tough, long-standing safety and health problems addressed.

In-depth information and discussion centered on the critical hazards associated with the majority of fatalities in the paper sector: Hazardous Substances, Mobile Equipment, Falls, Caught-in and Struck-by. The group discussed how lessons learned from these tragedies can be shared across the Union and throughout the industry to prevent future loss of life and limb.

The setting provided an opportunity for dialog among new and seasoned paper-sector USW safety and health representatives to learn from each other how to increase the effectiveness of their day-to-day work in eliminating, reducing and preventing hazards; increase member involvement in the union’s safety and health efforts; and how to effectively work with safety and health committees and others in creating safer, healthier workplaces. 


Industry Update

List of US Mills Idled by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and Dates of Shutdown (*indicates a USW-represented facility):

Hurricane Irma:

Hurricane Harvey:

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Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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