Monday Morning Minute: March 14, 2022

Union Work 

International Paper Mill Master Education and Wage Review Sessions Kick-Off

USW Locals 13-162 & 103 – International Paper – Valliant, Okla. & Cayuga, Ind. (Newport Mill)

Last week, USW paper sector leadership kicked off a sequence of educational sessions within the International Paper mill system at the Valliant, Okla., and Newport, Ind., mills. As part of the ongoing work leading up to bargaining a new Master Agreement next year, the meetings consisted of an historical review of the council’s Master and Integration Agreements since 2007, the language and economic provisions achieved in each, and an in-depth discussion around wages related to attraction and retention issues unique to the respective sites.

Throughout the months of March, April and May, paper sector leadership and corporate management at each one of International Paper’s 16 USW-represented mills will visit local leaders, USW staff representatives and mill management to have similar discussions.

The attached photo features the USW group at Valliant (local leaders from left: Brandon Jackson, Local President Jim McKnight and Local Vice President Randy Wilson). Present at the Newport meeting was Unit President Jason McLain, Vice President Jaimal Fortner and Brandon Shipman.

Trade Victory for USW Coated Paper Producers in Sunset Review of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties

On March 7, 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to expedite its sunset review of antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain coated paper from China and Indonesia. The vote means that the duties on imports from these countries will likely continue for at least the next five years, pending the commission’s final vote .

The USW actively participated in the review, joining with Sappi North America, Inc. and Verso Corporation, to demonstrate to the commission that revocation of the orders would cause renewed injury to the domestic industry and USW members. The orders resulted from a petition filed by the USW and paper companies in 2009 in response to rising imports of dumped and subsidized coated paper from China and Indonesia.

The duties have disciplined unfair trade and caused imports from China and Indonesia to exit the market. This week’s vote is an important victory for USW members that rely on strong trade remedy enforcement to level the playing field and protect American jobs.


Steve Sallman Discusses OSHA and Build Back Better Plan on the Leslie Marshall Show

USW Director of Health, Safety and Environment Steve Sallman appeared on the Leslie Marshall show this week to discuss the vital role the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had in protecting workers since 1970 and the importance of the Build Back Better Act. Throughout its four decades, OSHA helped save the lives of many workers by implementing safety standards, monitoring workplaces for compliance, and instituting anti-retaliation provisions for workers who speak out.

Previous administrations rolled back support for OSHA, which hindered enforcement activities and made it easier for employers to get away with violations. The Build Back Better Act currently awaiting approval in the Senate would enable OSHA to keep workers safe from a variety of hazards by expanding its budget and increasing penalties for workplace health and safety violations.

To listen to the full interview with Steve Sallman, click here.

Industry Update

Dust Fire at Dunn Paper’s Gouverneur, N.Y. Mill

USW Local 687 – Dunn Paper – Gouverneur, N.Y.

On Sunday, March 6, Dunn’s specialty paper mill located in Gouverneur, N.Y., experienced a minor dust fire. While flames were showing from the roof, the fire caused minimal damage and, most importantly, none of the 14 employees who were working at the time of the incident were injured. The site was back up and running by Monday morning.

Verso’s Shareholders have Approved BillerudKorsnas Acquisition

USW Locals 2-94 & 2-21 – Verso Corporation – Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., & Escanaba, Mich.

According to a press release, shareholders of Verso Corporation approved on March 11 Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnas’s previously announced acquisition of Verso. The transaction is expected to close in late-March or April, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Kimberly-Clark Historical Video Features the Company’s Wartime Efforts During World War II

USW Locals 2-86, 1575, 1421, 2-482 & 10-448 – Kimberly-Clark – Marinette, Wis.; Mobile, Ala.; Neenah/Menasha, Wis.; & Chester, Pa.

An historical video commends the nearly 6,000 men and women responsible for the company’s industrial war production on the home front during World War II. The company not only manufactured vital products essential to the needs of soldiers and people at home, such as white paper and tissue, but also materials used on the front lines of the war through its War Products Division. Pulp and cellulose were used to make insulating products like Kimsul to line quonset huts; The division also developed products out of scrap resin to make war materials stronger and more durable, and to potentially replace some steel, aluminum and synthetic resin uses.

Kimberly-Clark received the armed services’ highest honor for outstanding production of necessary war materials. Click the following link to watch the video:

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, or at 412-562-2504.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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