WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis., January 18, 2007 – United Steel Workers (USW Locals 2-94,
2-116, 2-187, 359 and 1306) voted yesterday to ratify a five-year labor agreement with Stora Enso.
The favorable vote came after 22 months of negotiations between the union and the company which began in March of 2005.
“We are pleased that our USW-represented employees have ratified a five-year labor agreement that provides employment security and competitive wages and benefits. This contract positions Stora Enso to become a much tougher competitor in a challenging business environment with the goal of helping to secure jobs in central Wisconsin,” said Bill Smith, director of employee relations.
Provisions of the contract include:
• A five-year agreement with wage increases of 9% over the life of the contract.
• A ratification bonus of $3,000 per member.
• Health care benefits that have been secured for both active and retired employees. The company will continue to provide quality health care benefits for pre-age 65 retirees.
• Job security language which ensures that no active employee will lose permanent employment as a result of contracting, work restructuring or work competitiveness provisions of the agreement.
• Greater profit sharing payouts to represented employees based on measurable gains in profitability up to $1,000 per quarter.
• An ongoing work redesign program, driven at the mill level, which will be led by a union/management steering committee.
• Provisions which clarify and modernize contract language.
The five USW locals represent approximately 1,400 members who work at Stora Enso’s Biron, Stevens Point, Whiting and Wisconsin Rapids mills.
Negotiations continue between the company and three other unions: the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Lodge 655; the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, Local 807; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1147.
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