Weyerhaeuser Woodworkers End Strike: Hundreds of woodworkers from Weyerhaeuser across Washington and Oregon, including Longview, have settled on a four-year union contract with the Seattle-based timber company after being on strike for 46 days.
According to Brandon Bryant, district business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Woodworkers District Lodge W24, the agreement was approved by around 55% on Thursday night.
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Weyerhaeuser Woodworkers End Strike
The IAMAW’s Woodworkers Local 536 union represents about 350 Longview residents through 13 separate contracts, as well as residents of Aberdeen and Raymond, Washington, and Coos Bay, Springfield, and Cottage Grove, Oregon.
Bryant stated that 85% of members voted in favor of the deal which includes a 14% wage rise, no increase in healthcare premiums, and enhanced vacation time and sick leave compensation.
In addition, he said, employees would be eligible for either an annual $750 contribution to a Health Savings Account or a $3,000 incentive.
He stated, “It’s been a long road, and we didn’t get all the union wanted, but we are in a far better place now than we were seven weeks ago.”
On Friday morning, the firm said in a statement that its 1,200 unionized employees will be returning to their jobs in the company’s worldwide wood products and timberlands divisions. Are You a Baby Boomer? Purchase Max Life’s ‘2Cr Term Insurance Maximum Protection Term Life Insurance
Union members voted in favor of a strike on September 2 and began walking off the job and manning picket lines on September 13. The last time union members went on strike was in 1986.
Since the 13th of September, groups of workers have been standing in front of Weyerhaeuser gates on Industrial Way and at the Port of Longview, yelling and brandishing signs like “Make Weyerhaeuser great again.”
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According to Bryant, workers rejected prior contracts because of stagnant or declining wages, reductions in vacation time and other benefits, and the introduction of employee premium contributions for health insurance for the first time since the 1990s or thereabouts.
According to a press release issued by Weyerhaeuser in January, the company’s “financial performance in 2021 was the greatest on record,” with net earnings increasing by almost 69% from 2020 to 2021. Bryant complimented the hard effort of the staff for the positive outcome.
Friday’s message from Weyerhaeuser CEO Devin W. Stockfish emphasized the value the company places on its employees.
Weyerhaeuser is dedicated to providing its employees with “safe, reliable jobs” that pay competitive wages and provide for their families, he said. We feel that this contract achieves those aims, and we look forward to having everyone back at work as soon as possible.
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