The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the members of USW Local 8-675 in Covington, Virginia have voted in favor of a proposed new contract with MeadWestvaco. The overwhelming ratification vote took place on Wednesday, July 1, 2009.
The new agreement includes $2,600 in cash bonuses and over 16% in general wage increases over the course of its six-year term. Improvements to the defined benefit pension plan raise the multiplier to $58 per month for each year of service, meaning that an employee who retires with 30 years of service would receive a monthly benefit of roughly $1,740 per month, a high-water mark in for workers in the paper industry.
USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, the union’s top official with responsibility for paper bargaining, said that this groundbreaking new agreement will raise the bar for the entire industry. Further, Geenen pointed out that the ratification vote itself should end any speculation about which union is best suited to represent the hourly production and maintenance employees at the mill ... more