Workers Plan Orderly Shutdown of Longview Facility
AWPPW 153 Local members have gone on strike early this morning over unfair labor practices (ULP) at Kapstone Paper & Packaging in Longview, Washington.
Local 153 members have overwhelmingly authorized a strike in response to the Company’s pattern of violating federal labor laws. “The Company has shown a callous disregard for the law by failing to provide to the Union information which is critical to the bargaining process,” said AWPPW bargaining spokesperson John Minor.
The Company continued its pattern of violating the law by illegally outsourcing bargaining unit work to outside contractors. In addition, the Company has refused to negotiate 194 different rules and policies that apply to Local 153’s members.
Furthermore, the Company unlawfully imposed its “last offer” by declaring impasse before the parties had concluded negotiations.
The Union has filed numerous Unfair Labor Practice charges against Kapstone in response to this unlawful activity. The National Labor Relations Board regional office already found merit in several charges and has issued a complaint against the Company. Other charges remain under investigation.
This pattern of unlawful conduct has also impacted issues of worker safety. The Local 153 safety committee has repeatedly raised several serious safety issues, which Kapstone has refused to address and continues to ignore.
AWPPW President Kurt Gallow states “AWPPW Local 153 members have spoken out, loud and clear” continuing, “Kapstone’s continued illegal activity is unacceptable, the Company cannot continue to break the law. The Union membership is striking over the Company’s unlawful conduct.”
As the Union has previously communicated to the Company, AWPPW Local 153 members will ensure an orderly shutdown and promptly exit the plant site.
for further information contact AWPPW Vice President Greg Pallesen
Paperworkers “Get In the Van” to Visit Kapstone Customers
Van visits rallies Monday at 3 pm (Longview), Wednesday at 11 am (Portland), Thursday at 1 pm (Seattle).
This week workers from the Kapstone paper mill in Longview are organizing a Justice Caravan in an effort to save their healthcare and other benefits, ask the company to stop disregarding environmental laws that protect local rivers, and demand the company stop disregarding labor laws.
The caravan will visit Kapstone customers in Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle, stop at rallies in Longview Monday August 3 at 3 pm, at Pioneer Plaza on Wednesday August 5 at 11 am, and in at the Environmental Protection Agency regional office Seattle Thursday August 6 at 11 am.
“Kapstone’s efforts to cut to our healthcare coverage impacts the entire community”, said Kurt Gallow, President of Local 153 of the Association of Pulp and Paper Workers Union, which represents around 800 workers at the plant. “If they get away with weakening our healthcare other workers will soon face the same cuts.”
AWPPW Representative John Minor spokesperson for Local 153 negotiations said “Kapstone came to the bargaining table with a callous disregard for fairness. They demand concessions, committed numerous ULPs (unfair labor practice) violations, and they attack seniority.”
A strike appears imminent at the plant, which means that Kapstone risk losing millions of dollars, its hard working dedicated highly skilled workforce, and its community support. “It doesn’t look good regarding the prospect of reaching a fair agreement” states Greg Pallesen AWPPW Vice President. “While the workforce has made considerable movement Kapstone is not showing any willingness to uphold previous promises and bargain a fair and equitable labor agreement. At this point in time a strike seems all but certain.”
Longview: Expo Center, 1900 7th Ave, Longview, WA
Portland: Pioneer Square, 701 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR
Seattle: EPA Office, 1200 6th Ave, Seattle, WA
For more information contact William Kramer at 732 589 8024 or firstname.lastname@example.org