Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Strike against Weyerhaeuser Ends

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Strike against Weyerhaeuser Ends

Article excerpt

Strike against Weyerhaeuser ends

A 6-week strike against Weyerhaeuser Co.'s forest product operations in Oregon and Washington ended when members of two unions approved new contracts that cut wages more than 20 percent. One of the unions, the Woodworkers, settled first for 6,200 employees it represents at logging operations, followed by the Lumber Production and Industrial Workers unit of the Carpenters union, which agreed to similar terms for 1,000 workers it represents at lumber mills. It was not immediately clear if other forest products firms in the Pacific Northwest would settle with the unions on similar terms, reflecting the difficulties the employers (and employees) have been experiencing in recent years as a result of increasing competition from lower cost operators in the region, in the South, and in Canada.

The 2-year Weyerhaeuser contract calls for an average pay cut of $2.90 an hour and benefit cuts of about $1. Prior to the settlements, mill workers averaged $18.19 an hour in wages and benefits and loggers averaged $22.36, according to the company.

The compensation cut was about the same as in an earlier company offer the workers had overwhelmingly rejected. A major difference that influenced the vote on the second accord was the dropping of a company proposal that promotions and job retention be based on employee "competence,' rather than seniority. …

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