Monday Morning Minute: Sept. 4, 2017

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

Asia Pulp and Paper Denied in Their Attempt to Exclude 83 Brightness from Uncoated Paper Trade Case Duties

Last week, we received some welcome news related to an ongoing trade case which demonstrates how the battle to protect American jobs and fight unfair trade never ends.

In mid-2015, the USW began tracking surges in imports of uncoated paper (such as, but not limited to, copy paper). We began soliciting our major paper companies to participate in the case, which was becoming more and more obvious every week and there was a growing threat of more capacity reduction in the US. After months of discussion, we were able to get all parties in alignment and then moved swiftly to prosecute a case to halt the damage that was being done to our markets by those not playing by established trade rules.

The USW ultimately testified alongside the industry, and after a few more months, steep penalties were placed on the countries that were cheating. This brought immediate relief to the market; we know that planned shutdowns of machines were cancelled for the time being, and pricing stabilized, breathing new life into the uncoated market.

“Orders” for penalties are generally put in place for 5 years and then are reviewed. In theory, this structure should provide workers with a half decade of security from threat of unfair imports from countries and companies that cheat to compete in our markets. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always deter those willing to bend the rules.

Earlier this year, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) filed for a review claiming that uncoated paper of a certain brightness level should be excluded from the duties- ignoring the fact that, for all intents and purposes, the paper in question is the exact same paper covered by the duties, but just described differently. What that means is that, our lawyers and the companies as well, are forced to redefend a case that was already litigated and won. The good news: we won again; the bad news: it never ends. Often, it is the USW, our lawyers and other partners who are the last line of defense in saving North American jobs.

Packaging Corporation of America Organizing Win

On August 8th, approximately 74 workers at the PCA box shop in Phoenix, AZ voted overwhelmingly to organize with the United Steelworkers. Local leaders from other PCA box shops stepped up and provided their own stories about what the union means to them at their facility, how they work with management to resolve issues for workers in the workplace, and what being a part of the PCA Council means to their local.  The group will begin negotiating soon for their first contract. The Union spirit in this facility is strong as demonstrated by the picture to the left, taken during the campaign.

USW Locals 1148 & 1149 – International Paper – Texarkana, TX

8 members from the IP mill in Texarkana are currently driving to Port Arthur, TX in 4 trailers carrying food, water, and other supplies to those in need of disaster relief. Local President, Mike Moore, said that they come from a unique location in that they are able to drive down the back of Louisiana to reach  areas in East Texas that have been previously inaccessible. Areas like Port Arthur have not seen the aid that other areas have due to road closures.

In addition to holding bucket drives, the mill also collected basic supplies that are so badly needed right now. Local members and Mill Management pitched in and collected 7 pallets of water, 198 half-gallon containers of milk, 180-dozen eggs, 110 gallons of gas, pet food and supplies, and much more.

See article just below on what you can do to help fellow Paperworkers and USW members.

USW Members in District 13 Need Your Help to Recover from Hurricane Harvey

USW Paperworkers and members from other sectors in SE Texas and Louisiana are in the throes of a natural disaster due to Hurricane Harvey.  Although the full extent of the storm’s disastrous effects won’t be known for weeks, we already know that members of our USW family are in crisis right now. Thousands live and work in the direct path of this hurricane, and some have already lost their homes and vehicles. In some places, entire neighborhoods are under water. We are asking for your help with donations to the USW Charitable Trust that will be earmarked and used for members recovering from this disaster.  You can donate online, here.

Safety

Update: USW Paper Sector Full-Time Safety Representative/Advocate Course

At this time, everyone who registered for the upcoming Training for Full-Time Safety Representatives should have been notified whether they have been accepted to the program or not. If you applied for the course but have not received an email with your room confirmation number and follow-up information, please contact Laura Donovan (ldonovan@usw.org; 412-562-2504) ASAP.

Genie Product Notice – Mandatory Action Required:

Date: August 21, 2017

Models Affected: SX-135 XC

Serial Numbers Affected: SX135H-101 to 159, SX135H-161 to 168, SX135H-170, SX135H-173 and SX135H-174

Subject: Load Cell Replacement and Software Update

Allowable Hours: 6 hours

Issue: Genie has become aware of the following issues on the machines referenced above: The software installed on the machines does not fully comply with the prevailing standards EN280 and AS1418. The control system software must be updated on the affected machines. In extreme temperature conditions, the load sensing system installed on the machines referenced above may deviate from the load cell engineering specification. This can result in nuisance faults of the load sensing system.

Action(s) Required:

  1. Locate the affected machines referenced above within your fleet.
  2. Order Load Cell Kit PN 1280949GT and install on your machine.

Note: Updating the control system is included in the instructions to replace the load cell.

Completion of this Product Notice must take place as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days from receipt of the kit.

  1. Fill out and sign the completion form attached to the installation instructions and fax or email to Terex AWP Warranty Department. This will serve as verification that you have completed this Product Notice.

Continued Use Instructions: The machine may remain in service.

Industry Update

Hurricane Harvey Impact on Containerboard Capacity

Analysts estimate that Hurricane Harvey will impact approximately 20% of containerboard capacity in the US. The impact is expected to last through September as operations recover. A number of USW mills are situated in the East Texas and Louisiana region. Analysts expect International Paper to experience the most disruption.  According to Risi, 8 million tons of the US 2017 capacity of 38.742 million tons are located in 10 mills in East Texas and Louisiana More than half of this capacity is in 5 mills owned by International Paper. In addition, mills owned by Packaging Corporation of America, Graphic Packaging, WestRock, Hood Container and Georgia-Pacific are also likely to be impacted.

Remember to share Monday Morning Minute in your work place and share your stories with us.  Send your information to Laura Donovan at ldonovan@usw.org.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

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

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222