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USWs Papermaking Sector Advancing Common Agenda for 100,000 Workers

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 10:59 AM
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Steelworkers (USW) Paper Sector Bargaining Conference was held from 17-19 August, with some 500 local union leaders further refining a common negotiations agenda aimed at synchronizing working terms and conditions for 100,000 unionised paperworkers in North American.

The conference also served as another springboard for Workers Uniting, the joint cooperative organization formed by the USW and Unite the Unite of the UK. Ten shop-floor trade union leaders from paper and printing plants in the UK attended, as did pulp and paper union leaders from Australia, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and South Africa.

The conference took a hard look at management operated behavioral-based safety programmes compared to the preferable process safety alternatives, and the USW thoroughly analysed a comprehensive safety and health survey it did a year ago from among local unions of some 30 pulp and paper companies.

Linda Pollock, a shop-floor leader at HarperCollins book publishing in the UK and Unite member, addresses the USW paper conference

But the main focus at the bi-annual conference was to shape common bargaining agenda, a process the unions pulp and paper leadership has honed in recent years in order to regain bargaining clout after decades of mill-by-mill bargaining in the US pulp and paper sector. Delegates did that last week through some 30 break-out sessions that brought local branches of the same company together.

In one, the MeadWestvaco council of trade unions, USW trade unionists elected Iain Eid, a Unite activist from a MeadWestvaco packaging plant in the UK, as spokesperson, further cementing the trans-Atlantic Workers Uniting bond.

Early this year, members of USW Local 1050 in Michigan at a Pratt/Visy paper plant wrote to workers at the Tumut mill of Visy in New South Wales, Australia, encouraging them to join the CFMEU. Alex Millar (left) presented the USW paper converting unit a flag signed by Australian paperworkers at Tumut who favour unionization. At center, USW District Two Assistant Director Art Kroll and Pratt/Visy unit chairman Mike Prins. At right, USW District Two Director Mike Bolton

FULL story at link.

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