International Paper strike looms

Union votes against contract

By Gary Budzak

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Union workers have rejected a contract offer by International Paper in Delaware.

The contract was voted down on Saturday, and the company was asked to come back to the table, said a member of Teamsters 284. The union will not go on strike until they have had a chance to talk to the company, he said.

A spokesman for International Paper said the company was not commenting publicly.

Contracts are negotiated every four years, and both sides have been talking since May, but not budging. The sticking points include overtime and searches, according to the spouse of an employee, who asked not to be identified.

Employees must work 12 hours per week of mandatory overtime, but now the company wants unlimited mandatory overtime, said the spouse.

Another issue is that any manager can conduct a body or car search of any employee for any reason and at any time, the spouse said. The union has said they would accept searches by security personnel, but not by managers who may be singling out an employee.

According to its website, International Paper is “a global leader in the paper and packaging industry with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and North Africa.” The company has a container plant and an ink manufacturing and blending facility on Pittsburgh Drive.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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