The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced that its members at NewPage Corp. have ratified a new four-year Master Contract that will bring added protection to 4,500 workers and help the company emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a stable employer in the coated paper sector of the paper industry.
The new master agreement covers employees at NewPage paper facilities in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan and Wisconsin. It sets corporate-wide economic terms for wages, pensions, health insurance and sickness and accident benefits, and gives workers additional security in the event any facilities are sold again in the future.
NewPage, an Ohio-based maker of coated papers, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Sept. 7, along with certain of its subsidiaries, six years after being bought by Cerberus Capital Management LP.
"The resulting deal restructures collective bargaining agreements in a fair manner, and also provides our members with enhanced security for the future, while providing a period of stability to the new company that emerges from bankruptcy to improve, invest and grow the business," said USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton, who chairs the USW NewPage Council of Local Unions.
"We could not be more proud of the commitment our local leaders made to the process, their members and the community. The efforts of all of the local unions involved strengthen the long-term future of our mills and all of the stakeholders," said USW International Vice President Jon Geenen, who oversees the union's paper sector.
The master agreement will be effective upon court approval and NewPage's emergence from bankruptcy reorganization. In locations where old agreements have expired, the new pact will take effect immediately.
The USW represents 850,000 members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It is the largest private sector union in North America, representing workers in a wide range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, glass, oil refining, plus office, technical and service workers in health care, university and public sector.
CONTACTS: Jon Geenen (412) 562-2440
Jim McKay (412) 562-2441