Monday Morning Minute: June 17, 2019

Union Work

Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Graphic Packaging Council Meetings – Pittsburgh, Pa. – September 24-26

Council meetings for the Georgia-Pacific, International Paper and Graphic Packaging Councils have been scheduled in Pittsburgh. The GP Council will meet on September 24, the International Paper Council will meet on September 25, and the Graphic Packaging Council will meet on September 26. Local union leaders should have received call letters for their respective council by email, and local union presidents and recording secretaries have been sent hard copies by mail.

All three councils should use the following link to book hotel reservations: https://book.passkey.com/event/49924962/owner/2945954/home. Please plan to arrive the day before your meeting and depart in the evening after the meeting, or the following day. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Donovan (412-562-2504; ldonovan@usw.org).

USW Local 675 Unit 105 – New-Indy Containerboard – Oxnard, Calif. (Port Hueneme Mill)

On June 3, 2019, the New Indy Oxnard Mill Committee distributed safety and right-to-know stickers at plant gates. Those who passed out the stickers were Unit Chair Manuel Verduzco, Unit Secretary Nick Benavides and Acting Unit Chair Will Davis. The action took place immediately before and after swing change, from 6:30 AM to 8:00 AM at company parking lot gates. The committee will continue distribution at break rooms and the parking lot.

The committee also took advantage of the opportunity to distribute the New-Indy Council flyer, which was created after the council held its first formal meeting in Charlotte on May 15. The flyer was put together to inform the council membership of the meeting.

Safety

Paper Sector Breakout at USW Health, Safety and Environment Conference

We will hold a breakout for those attending the USW Health, Safety and Environment Conference from the paper sector at 5:30pm on Monday, September 9. The meeting is taking place on the union-only day of the conference, so please work this meeting into your schedule if you will be in town. Meeting room name and location will be announced once it is assigned. As a reminder, you can find registration and conference details here: https://www.usw.org/events/uswcwa-health-safety-and-environment-conference

PCA Michigan Regional Box Safety Meeting

USW Local Unions #402 and #2-01005 – PCA – Grandville, Mich.; Plymouth, Mich. – The USW PCA Michigan box locals convened June 13 at the Plymouth plant for the third geographical labor-management safety meeting of its kind for box plants within PCA and the paper sector as a whole.

On the agenda were labor-management safety and health committees and how to make them more effective, as they are foundational to addressing health and safety issues in our plants. Each of the locations worked in small groups on the following items: committee structure, agendas, meetings, duties and functions, pitfalls, finding solutions and resolving problems. An emphasis was placed on using the hierarchy of controls to address workplace hazards.

Additionally, the small groups focused on research (including the use of PCA’s EH&S SharePoint site and the USW Hazard Alerts) and review of toxic and hazardous substances, workplace change, and accident/incident/near-miss/work-related illnesses investigation. At the conclusion of the meeting, the group did a walk-through of the Plymouth plant.

All PCA box plants should fully utilize the master safety language found in the collective bargaining agreement, including the provision for union safety committee members being provided one hour of paid company time to prepare for the monthly safety committee meeting.

Industry Update

Dunn Paper Names New CEO

On June 6, Dunn Paper appointed Brian Janki as president and chief executive officer (CEO), and Brent Earnshaw as vice chairman of the board of directors. Earnshaw founded the company in 2003 and has served as CEO since its beginning. Janki most recently served as general manager and vice president of Caraustar’s largest business unit, the Mill Group. Prior to Caraustar, Janki was president of Glatfelter’s Specialty Papers Division and held multiple leadership roles at Greif.

Amcor Successfully Completes Acquisition of Bemis Company

On June 11, Amcor announced that it had completed its acquisition of Bemis for approximately $6.8 billion. Both companies produce flexible and rigid packaging for end markets like food, beverage, healthcare and personal care products. The merged companies will become the global leader in flexible packaging, with approximately 245 locations in more than 40 countries, and will be publicly traded on the NY Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange.

The USW represents workers at facilities located in St. Cesaire, Quebec, and Neenah and New London, Wis. IndustriALL also has affiliate unions that represent workers in Europe and Australia. A joint-international union alliance for Amcor was set up between IndustriALL and UNI Global Union late last year, and is a priority campaign.

State of New York Awards $2.8 Million to International Paper for Energy Efficiency Projects

USW Locals 497 and 4-5 – International Paper – Ticonderoga, N.Y. – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill is one winner of the state’s commercial and industrial carbon challenge. IP has committed to reduce carbon emissions, improve statewide sustainability and combat climate change. The $2.8 million award will be used to complete three energy efficiency projects, including turbine generator and power boiler optimizations and paper machine steam recovery.

This is a good example of the paper industry’s commitment to sustainability and ability to adapt, while remaining competitive in the future. Energy efficiency projects can help to decrease the cost it takes to operate a large mill, while also reducing its carbon footprint.

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 ldonovan@usw.org, or at 412-562-2504.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

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