Pulp and Paper Pact

By Cimini, Michael H. | Monthly Labor Review, September 1990 | Go to article overview

Pulp and Paper Pact


Cimini, Michael H., Monthly Labor Review


and paper pact

Reflecting the paper industry's trend to negotiate longer term labor agreements, Georgia-Pacific Corp. and five United Paperworkers locals, representing 880 employees at plants in Millinocket and East Millinocket, ME, reached a 5-year contract. (See Monthly Labor Review. August 1990, pp. 46-47.) The mills formerly were part of the Great Northern Nekossa Corp., which Georgia-Pacific took over earlier this year.

The contract calls for an immediate $1,000 signing bonus and 2-percent wage increases in August of 1993 and 1994. The monthly pension rate will increase to $22.75 (previously, $21.25) per year of credited service effective in January 1991. A 401(k) plan was established, with company-matching equal to 50 percent of an employee's investment, up to $800 a year. In addition, the company agreed to a "buyout provision" under which most employees would receive the equivalent of 780 hours of pay in six lump-sum payments over the next 3 years.

Other terms include going from department seniority to plantwide seniority in layoffs; eliminating double time for work on Sunday; continuing the current health care scheme (which includes a maximum company contribution, with employees absorbing the remaining costs); decreasing the number of steps in the grievance procedure from three to two; eliminating pay to union representatives for time spent on grievance matters; and easing of mandatory work on holidays (particularly Labor Day, Independence Day, and the Christmas season).

Elsewhere, 2,400 members of the United Paperworkers International Union ratified a 4-year contract with Consolidated Paper, Inc. based in Wisconsin. Paperworkers in the company's mill and folding carton (paperboard) division at five locations in Wisconsin will receive across-the-board 33-cent-per-hour increases (previous average hourly rate in both divisions was $13.02) in the first and second years of the contract, with the first increase retroactive to May 1, 1990. The third and fourth years provide 41 cents and 42 cents per hour.

The contract, which will expire May 1, 1994, also provides for a $1 per year of credited service increase in the monthly pension rate in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 (previously, $23); a $65 increase over the term of the contract in weekly sickness and accident payments; an increase in the employees' contribution toward health care insurance premiums in the first and third years of the contract, and, one additional floating holiday, bringing the number of paid holidays to 12 per year. …

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