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Support IAMW District W24 Members Striking At Weyerhaeuser

harold.phillips
21 Sep, 2022
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On September 13 members of IAM Woodworkers Local 536 walked out of the Weyerhaeuser facilities in Longview and several locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. The workers overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest contract offer over low wage increases, cuts to vacation, healthcare premiums, and no improvement on retirement.

Diana Winther, President of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council, sent a letter to Weyerhaeuser management urging them to “return to the bargaining table promptly and in good faith, and present a proposal that meets the needs of the membership and properly recognizes their contribution to your business”:

Longview was shaped by mills such as your facility on Industrial Way, and the families that live in this town are proud to do the work necessary to create lumber, to drive log trucks, and to maintain the machinery that keeps Weyerhaeuser running. But your lack of respect for their efforts have left them no choice but to withhold their labor and take to the street instead of walking through your gates for their shifts.

As a coalition of diverse unions – from educators to laborers, nurses, millwrights, office professionals, and plumbers – the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council writes to express its profound disappointment in how you have chosen to treat your workforce. The members of Woodworkers W 536 lAMA W helped make 2021 your strongest financial performance on record. To report returning over $2 billion in cash to shareholders and then expect the membership to accept a meaningless 15% raise when coupled with a 30% increase in their health care costs sends a clear and painful message – you do not truly value them or their work.

It is our position that Weyerhaeuser needs to reassess its values. Your website showcases Weyerhaeuser being named one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere multiple times. Yet it is challenging to imagine a less ethical action than demanding your employees take an economic step backwards in a time of record inflation. Elsewhere on your website you brag about your reputation for “conducting business honestly, fairly and with integrity.” Yet rather than demonstrating your integrity by doing “the right thing the right way” and presenting a proposal that honestly reflects your substantial financial success, you have forced work stoppages in multiple states with an insulting and unfair last, best, and final offer.

It is the position of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council that Weyerhaeuser leadership must return to the bargaining table promptly and in good faith, and present a proposal that meets the needs of the membership and properly recognizes their contribution to your business. This is what is necessary for your workforce, for our community, and even for your shareholders, and it is what the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council expects of such an historic anchor company such as Weyerhaeuser.

Please support these workers standing up to this multi-million dollar company.  Contact Local W536 at 360-425-3000 or woodworkers536@comcast.net​ for details on how you can help.