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Workers at Baileyville Mill Secure Pay Raises & Stronger Language in New Contract

Andy O’Brien
14 Nov, 2019
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 Trades and production workers at Woodland Pulp LLC in Baileyville have ratified a new four-year contract (trades) and three-year contract (production) that includes pay raises and strengthens protections for each trade. The trades contract covers members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 1490, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1057, Millwrights Local 1121 and the Firemen and Oilers who work at the pulp mill. United Steelworkers (USW) Local 27 ratified a contract for production workers at the pulp mill. The agreement was ratified on October 22nd and is effective retroactively on September 1st.

“The negotiations went very smoothly. All of the unions came together to work for the same goal and supported each other through the whole thing,” said IAM 1490 labor representative George Edwards. “Working people deserve a fair shake of the wealth that we create. These were solid raises and a good step forward because the last couple contracts were much lower. As lead negotiator, I was proud of the team for sticking together and staying strong.”

Under the new trades contract:

  • Workers will receive pay raises of 2 %, 2.5%, 3% and 2.5% over four years.
  • Each trade will have its own job classifications and rules as opposed to the previous contract where the all of four trades were under one agreement.
  • Health insurance and retirement benefits will remain the same.
  • Small improvements on shift differential

“I think it went very well,” said Josh Kinney, President of IAM Local 1490. “We strengthened up the core trades quite a bit. That was a huge thing for us. The guys are pretty proud of their trades so it’s good that we got that language a little better written in the contract.”

Union leaders credited the company for negotiating in good faith and working well with the bargaining team. 

“This contract is one of the better ones I’ve had in a while in terms of the interaction with the company,” said Zachary Middleton, Council Representative for Millwrights Local 1121. “It was a very fair negotiation and for the most part we walked away with something that we feel happy about. All and all I think it was a fair contract.”

“I feel very positive about this contract. We knew exactly what the increase needed to be to keep us in line with the rest of the industry. We’re now exactly where everyone else is,” said Shawn Howland, President of United Steelworkers Local 27. “This is my third set of negotiations and by far it was the most civil and calm. The company didn’t come after things this time. We didn’t have any banging of the tables or kicking of the chairs. It just went really well.”

  • Under the three-year USW contract:
  • Workers will receive pay raises of 2%, 2.5% and 3% over three years.
  • Small improvements on shift differential of fifteen cents over three years.
  • Health insurance will remain the same.