September 17, 2008
Mill Workers, Allies to Rally at Halsey Plant Gate on September 21
To: STATE EDITORS
Contact: Jim Gourley, USW Local 1189, +1-541-206-9544; or Howard Scott, USW, +1-412-562-2521
Protesting wage, benefits reduction under ownership of investment firm
HALSEY, Ore., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1189, community supporters and political leaders are organizing a large plant gate rally at the Cascade Pacific Pulp plant Sept. 21 to protest wage and benefit cuts forced on workers under the ownership of the firm Wayzata Investment Partners.
Union workers and supporters will meet at the USW Local 1189 union hall in Halsey, 1125 West 1st St., at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, and have a parade style car caravan for the two and a half mile trip to the plant gate. After the rally, the USW will hold a community picnic at the union hall until 4 p.m. for those in attendance.
Speakers at the rally will include rank-and-file union workers from the plant, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlin, State Senator Vickie Walker, U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley and USW Canadian Wood Council Chair Bob Matters. Additional dignitaries have been invited to attend, but have yet to confirm their attendance.
Earlier this year, Minnesota-based Wayzata Investment Partners bought the former Pope & Talbot pulp mill in Halsey, Ore., and renamed it Cascade Pacific Pulp. In the change of ownership, longtime workers were fired and then made to reapply for their jobs. Wages were slashed from 12 to 28% and employees forced to pay up to $3,000 for deductibles and up to $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses to retain family health insurance.
Union members are more determined than ever to stand together with allies from our community and make sure we get fair and equitable treatments from the new owners of the pulp mill, said USW Local 1189 financial secretary Jim Gourley.
More than 100 union-represented workers at the Kraft pulp mill and their allies are demanding that Wayzata Investment Partners bargain fairly with employees over the terms of their labor agreement rather than unilaterally implementing changes.
Workers from the Halsey mill, as well as community allies, will be available for interviews at this event.
Contact:Jim Gourley, USW Local 1189, +1-541-206-9544; or Howard Scott, USW, +1-412-562-2521
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
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