Contract Addresses Key Economic Issues and Enhances Security
After two weeks of voting, the United Steelworkers (USW) today said that its members have ratified a four-year master economic and security agreement with International Paper (IP) that covers about 5,700 workers at 43 of the company's converter plants where they make corrugated boxes and containers.
The agreement was reached after nearly a year of planning and strategic meetings that culminated in mid-November with a week-long negotiating session with over 200 participants in New Orleans, La.
"These negotiations are strategically important for our union and our members in the converting sector of the paper industry," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
"A large percentage of our paper membership works in the converting sector and IP is the largest company," Gerard said, "so our success here sets a standard for bargaining and relationships throughout the industry."
USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, who leads the USW's paper industry bargaining efforts, said, "Our strong local union leadership and membership solidarity made the entire process successful, and allowed everyone to have a role in reaching an agreement with IP that benefits all parties and ensures a vibrant industry going forward ... more