The United Steelworkers announced on Aug. 15 that it has reached an understanding a master agreement with International Paper; the first one in 25 years. The agreement, which covers 14 mills, covers wages and benefits improvements as well as provisions to protect jobs if the company sells a mill.
"This tentative master agreement is a clear step forward by both the USW and the largest player in the paper industry. The successorship commitment represents a mature view of the volatile business climate in this industry and a fair and reasonable commitment by IP to its workers," USW International president Leo W. Gerard said.
Workers will receive details of the proposed contract in the mail this week and are scheduled to vote on it Aug. 23. Results will be available Aug. 24.
The USW represents 150,000 members in the North American paper industry. Overall, it represents more than 850,000 workers in a wide array of industries throughout the U.S. and Canada.