Union members protest cut wages
September 6, 2008 By Pulp & Paper Canada
United Steelworkers members kicked off their weekend with a protest, in Halsey, Oregon. Workers are angered by the …
United Steelworkers members kicked off their weekend with a protest, in Halsey, Oregon. Workers are angered by the slashed wages and layoffs implemented by investment firm Wayzata Investment Partners when it bought the last Pope & Talbot mill in the U.S.
According to a recent report by the Portland Business Journal, union members took to Wayzata headquarters on Friday, September 5, demanding the company “bargain fairly with employees over the terms of their labour agreement rather than unilaterally implementing changes.”
Bankrupt Pope & Talbot shut down the facility on May 9. On June 20, Wayzata successfully bid on the mill, and created Cascade Pacific Pulp in order to run it.
One week later, the facility was up and running, but according to the Portland Business Journal, the United Steelworkers Union said long-time employees were fired and made to reapply for their positions, at which point their wages were cut by 12-28%. Some workers were required to fork over $3,000 for deductibles and up to $10,000 in “out-of-pocket expenses” in order to keep family health insurance, the union confirmed.
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