Resolute and U.S. union agree
By CNW Telbec
Feb. 18, 2014, Montreal - Resolute Forest Products announced a five-year renewal of the master collective agreement covering four unionized U.S. pulp and paper mills. Unionized employees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement at mills in Augusta, Georgia; Calhoun, Tennessee; Catawba, South Carolina; and Coosa Pines, Alabama, effective as of February 14, 2014.
"At Resolute, we believe in succeeding together, where every member's contribution is important to reach our collective goals and ensure our long-term success," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. "We're very pleased to have quickly reached an agreement with union leadership and members to ensure we remain a competitive employer, but also one that maintains its competitive edge."
The agreement covers about 1,500 employees, represented by the United Steelworkers (USW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada (UA). The agreement improves wages in each of its five years and continues the partnership with all unions on employee safety and efficiency. In addition to securing high-quality healthcare, it will encourage consumer behaviour to control costs, allow employees to benefit from wellness initiatives, and significantly reduce the Company's other postretirement benefits, or "OPEB," liabilities.
The four mills, together with the Company's other U.S. pulp and paper operations, none of which has an expiring collective agreement, represent almost half of the Company's pulp and paper production capacity.