This video was submitted by Tony Bellamy and is very
interesting and informative. It puts our position as working people in
perspective as viewed by upper level management. The only hope for the
working people of this country is to organize and stand united. So much has
been taken already and what little we have left is just a footnote on the
balance sheet of corporate accounting. In their endless search for more and
more profits, corporate America has forsaken the human element.
IP Violates State Labor Laws
We voiced our concern when management decided to work
employee’s through break, manning each machine with only one operator. Even
our safety committee voiced strong opposition to this move and said they
were putting production before safety. Some even quit the committee. Bobby
met with Marcus and myself on this and insisted we would continue working
through break until the issue could be discussed in more detail with Chris
Harding. Chris, to his credit, was the one who initially voiced his
opposition to this practice many months ago to our management team.
Thankfully, I suppose, after speaking with Chris, management announced to
all that we would have two operators per machine going forward when working
What you may not have known, is the fact that working
employees beyond five hours from the start of a shift without a lunch break
is a violation of state labor laws. Now…You would, and should, expect a
company as large as ours to fully comply with all Federal and State Labor
laws. You as an hourly workforce should expect no less from the
largest paper company in the world, right? I know I do.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that the
Lexington management team has been guilty of unfair labor practice. The last
time it was a violation of Federal labor law.
What’s also a fact, is that the poster outlining our
State labor laws, was posted on the wall next to the human resource
manager’s office. Yes, in black and white. They also had another
copy inside the maintenance cage by the shipping office for
the employees. The cage is locked of course. No employee access without a
key. It has since been moved to a location across from the shipping
department where access is much easier, once we made this point to
Keep in mind though; it is only a violation of Labor
law if the employee is made to work more than five hours. If
you volunteer to work over and take a late lunch there is no violation.
That’s why your lunch has been pushed back twenty minutes. They don’t want
to have to ask. They didn’t to begin with though, did they?
Hence the beauty of a union free
workforce! They do as they want, when they want. They don’t want or need
your input. No union to police their activity or stand in their way! They
make and change rules at will! Even avoiding the few rights you have
without a contract. The state and federal labor laws……
If this weren’t enough..I am called at home by
our second shift employee’s . Kyle had a meeting with them to announce, that
according to the handbook ,we were to only receive one break during a four
hour overtime period. Those in attendance quickly became furious and things
went south quickly. Thankfully Kyle said the handbook was mistaken and that
he wanted two breaks during this period and that a change would be made to
the handbook to reflect this.
My question is why have the meeting at all? We always
have taken two breaks when working overtime. Why not just make the change to
the handbook without a meeting? The people I spoke with insist that the tone
of the meeting on second shift was totally different from that of first and
third shifts. They believe it was to implement only one break during a four
hour shift. Kyle insists that wasn’t the case. We should be thankful. Such
an act would be more than insulting.
I have said before that management will be our deciding
factor as to whether we work under a contract or continue allowing them the
luxury of making all the decisions concerning our wages and working
conditions. We expect them to be fair and abide by the laws that
are in place to protect us. So far, do you like what you see?
Always remember there is another option.
Hello again my friends and coworkers. Shall we
re-hash my numerous postings of the past where I proclaimed Safety to be
anything but first? Is there any need? When operators are forced to run by
themselves on two man operations on a daily basis I think it's clear where
safety stands in relation to production. Management's standpoint on this is
we are not overbooked, we are under performing and they see it
as necessary, in my opinion, to risk serious injury to meet production
demands by running through lunch and breaks. And as always, SAFETY
FIRST! Oh, and here is the latest on this subject. Our Plant
Manager informed Tony and I that Chris Harding's statement on not running
operations with one operator was more of a "suggestion" than an order... A
"suggestion?" Really? I thought a man in Chris Harding's position did
more than just "suggest" changes...I guess I am wrong in that assumption. As
a matter of fact, on a recent visit to the office, Tony was told that Chris
Harding was fine with one operator running through lunch and breaks. It was
also stated that attempts were being made to confirm this with Mr. Harding.
If local management is so sure of their understanding of this rule...so sure
in fact that they violate what we all assumed was a standing order
and corporate policy...why bother Mr. Harding? Another Union committee
member who is also on the safety committee brought this safety issue up and
was told by The new first shift supervisor not to worry about it that it was
not his place to interfere with machine operations and if he had a problem
to take it up with Kyle. That's respect for the Lexington Safety Committee
isn't it? Maybe it's time to try a membership in the people's only real
committee...Just saying... On a different subject, The
discussion in the safety meeting on 3-14-2013 was one for the books as well.
I am not even going to comment on this mess. Like my old granny used to say,
"Leave the lid on long enough, and it will cook over all on it's own."
Friends, we as your in-plant Union Organizing
Committee, take a dim view on any situation that puts our co-workers in a
dangerous situation either direct or perceived. The United Steelworkers are
ready to bring their full power forward to assist us in becoming a organized
bargaining unit and protecting not only ourselves but our futures and the
future well being of our families. Allowing ourselves to be placed in
clearly unsafe situations for the betterment of management's bottom line is
not in our best interest. As a matter of fact, running production on
machines scheduled for down time due to lunch and breaks gives management a
double bonus. They not only get the production they get it for free as that
time does not apply to their Man Hours per MSF. Wow! what a bargain for
them! That fact was confirmed to Tony Bellamy by our new first shift
supervisor on 3-14-2013. Seems like that places safety behind Man
Hours per MSF as well doesn't it?
I would like to take a moment and thank all the new
card signers and assure you that as soon as we reach the overwhelming
majority we are looking for, we will petition the NLRB and deliver you
an election where you will have the true final word.
We were made aware of a almost funny situation that
happened in the office just the other day. I say "almost funny" because its
kind of sad. It was reported to us by an "inside source in HR" that all
members of management were instructed by our new Plant General Manager to
wear ID stickers during a recent visit by Chris Harding and his boss.
Don Noort was offered this sticker by our HR person
and according to her, he adamantly refused to wear it. When told that The
PGM had ordered this to be done he took the sticker, peeled off the backing
handing the backing to Rebecca, and defiantly wadded up the decal placing it
in his pocket. It was later reported that Don had a proper sticker on later
that afternoon. It is our guess that Bobby had to directly impose his
authority on Mr. Noort in order to achieve compliance with his subordinate
to wear a simple name tag. I was initially reluctant to report on this
incident (considering the source of this information) but I feel it to be
important to let the people know of any possible insurrection in the chain
of management command as this kind of infighting endangers our ability to
properly service our customers and, in the end, our ability to support our
families. Due to nonsense like this "Sticker Incident" It is my firmly held
opinion we need to organize ourselves into a collective bargaining unit and
protect our future with a fairly negotiated, legally binding, Union
Posted here so
you Know Your Rights!
You have the right to distribute Union flyers and brochures in non-work
areas during breaks and lunch.
You have the right to wear Union buttons, stickers, T-shirts and hats to
show your colors.
You have the
right to sign a USW
membership card and demand company recognition of the Union.
You have the right to petition and join together with co-workers to protest
unfair treatment or demand improvements in wages, hours or working
You have the right to organize fellow employees, support the Union, and
distribute literature and membership cards to be signed.
You have the right to file complaints against your company.
You have the right to participate in meetings to discuss joining a Union.
United States National Labor Relations Act
"Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join or
assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representation
of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the
purpose of collective bargaining …"
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT Also cited NLRA or the Act; 29 U.S.C. Sec. Sec.
151-169[Title 29, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, United States Code] findings and
policies Section 1. [Sec. 151.] The denial by some employers of the right of
employees to organize and the refusal by some employers to accept the
procedure of collective bargaining lead to strikes and other forms of
industrial strife or unrest, which have the intent or the necessary effect
of burdening or obstructing commerce by (a) impairing the efficiency,
safety, or operation of the instrumentalities of commerce; (b) occurring in
the current of commerce; (c) materially affecting, restraining, or
controlling the flow of raw materials or manufactured or processed goods
from or into the channels of commerce, or the prices of such materials or
goods in commerce; or (d) causing diminution of employment and wages in such
volume as substantially to impair or disrupt the market for goods flowing
from or into the channels of commerce. The inequality of bargaining power
between employees who do not possess full freedom of association or actual
liberty of contract and employers who are organized in the corporate or
other forms of ownership association substantially burdens and affects the
flow of commerce, and tends to aggravate recurrent business depressions, by
depressing wage rates and the purchasing power of wage earners in industry
and by preventing the stabilization of competitive wage rates and working
conditions within and between industries.Experience
has proved that protection by law of the right of employees to organize and
bargain collectively safeguards commerce from injury, impairment, or
interruption, and promotes the flow of commerce by removing certain
recognized sources of industrial strife and unrest, by encouraging practices
fundamental to the friendly adjustment of industrial disputes arising out of
differences as to wages, hours, or other working conditions,
and by restoring equality of bargaining power between employers and
has further demonstrated that certain practices by some labor organizations,
their officers, and members have the intent or the necessary effect of
burdening or obstructing commerce by preventing the free flow of goods in
such commerce through strikes and other forms of industrial unrest or
through concerted activities which impair the interest of the public in the
free flow of such commerce.The
elimination of such practices is a necessary condition to the assurance of
the rights herein guaranteed. It is declared to be the policy of the United
States to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the
free flow of commerce and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when
they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective
bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of
association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their
own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of
their employment or other mutual aid or protection.
forget why we are here. It has nothing to do with "getting even," punishing
the company, or in any way harming our ability to produce a quality product
for our customers. We are here in the name of justice and fairness for
ourselves and our coworkers. We are here to establish a better way of
working... a way of working with the company instead of for the company. We
are here to move both parties toward a mutually beneficial outcome. 2013 has
just started and there are big things on our horizon. We can be a part of
these exciting developments or merely tools the company uses to accomplish
their goals. MB.
Thanksgiving Holiday Cut Short
I wanted to wait a while before posting this update to
allow the anger to subside and not allow it to cloud my judgment.
Unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Even though I personally didn’t
have to work, due to the fact a co worker on an off shift worked it for me.
Many people had plans with family. Several planned
trips months in advance. Management once again put their greed and will
before the hopes and wishes of the hourly work force. At least here in
Lexington and Bowling green. Louisville, the union sister plant in our
region had their four day weekend of course, due to the fact it was
negotiated in their contract. I was informed Bowling Green only had the day
of Thanksgiving off.
To the credit of Kyle, he wanted us to have the four
days off as planned. Don was told to have sales service contact customers
and have the orders pushed out and see that the holiday goes forth as
planned. It didn’t happen. Don, who now is in charge of sales service
made a half hearted effort, not contacting all customers due to the fact he
wanted us to work. Chris of course backs Don whole heartedly and once again
allowed this man to throw us to the wolves. Keep in mind that Don and Chris
receive bonuses for the volume you run. They make good money for your
Do you think the new GM will make a difference? Don’t
count on it. Anytime our past GM tried to run this facility, Don would call
Chris like a small child who just had his candy taken from him, and Chris
would bow to Dons will. Time and time again.
I have worked for IP 29 years and can’t remember them
pulling such a stunt on a thanksgiving weekend. If you ever want respect in
this facility as an hourly worker you need to have something to balance the
greed verse compassion and respect factor. The answer will not be with
a new GM that Don handles like a puppet on a string, much the same way he
handles Chris Harding. It will be with a contract and the USW.
Several more came to realize this last weekend by signing union
authorization cards and pledging their support for our cause. We thank you!
We realize we have had a great turnover rate since the
last election. Many of our newer hourly workers still have to see for
themselves that a contract is the only hope for a secure future in Lexington
with Don and Chris at the helm. We patiently wait for this day as we
continue forward. We are very pleased in our showing of interest thus far in
the campaign for Union representation. We will not petition for election
until we have the vast majority sign. We have much information
to share with you going forward. Don and Chris will help us determine when
to ramp up and proceed with the next step. Management, or a lack of, has
always been our best campaigning tool, as you witnessed firsthand by their
decision Thanksgiving weekend.
Chris I was told, had a meeting today to announce
millions of dollars in new investments in our plant. He followed up with
Praising Don for helping keep and generate new business as well. Then he
emphasized the importance of house cleaning.
He could have summed this up in a paragraph or two ,
and not cost us well over four hours of down time, in my
opinion. Down time I’m sure we will have to make up by working
It would have been great to hear how you, the
employee, are the reason we are able to keep and generate new business, and
know he meant what he said. That your sacrifice would be rewarded with
incentive pay or the gain sharing promise that was made in the last election but never
We are in the process of gathering information on
contracts and some of the incentives offered in other locations which are
Union. Chris and I agree on one thing for sure. Don’t be distracted and
keep your eye on the ball. The ball being what is in the best interest for
you and your family. His idea of the ball is working six days a week and for
some of us, sixty to seventy hour work weeks.
Take a look at the employee bulletin board out in the
plant. Notice the hire dates under each picture. Look at the turnover
rate! Odds have it many of you won’t be here in ten years.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy:
Mandatory overtime limits, incentive pay or gain
sharing, better pension, employment longevity, safety guidelines that are
fair, and a contract that the company must adhere to the terms and
During our anti union meeting last week I asked AL a
question. I said, During the last electionwe were told
that we were close to receiving gain sharing, and that we shouldn’t
jeopardize it by voting in the union. That promise wasn’t kept,
so I asked,” Are you misleading us again?” I ask you the same
question…would they mislead you again?
It’s great that the company has millions to spend on
equipment for our plant, don’t get me wrong. It’s also wonderful that we
retain our customers and bring in more business. At some point the
company needs to show respect and gratitude to the employee’s that make the
quality product and meet the demands of our customer. Our sales
department is a portion of a much greater picture. That picture is the
health and welfare of the labor force our company refuses to recognize.
Farewell Roland. You were fair and just and well respected
at this facility. We wish you well in your future and hope that with every
storm cloud you find a silver lining.
our input, decisions are being
made about our future and our our ability to make a living that will impact
the working people of this plant for years to come. What appeared to be an
upturn in managements philosophy of dealing with the hourly workers quickly
evaporated with the dismissal of our Plant General Manager. I think the
attitude management took in this matter was best summarized by the way our
sales manager and the office manager gleefully giggled and smiled throughout
the first and second shift announcement meeting where we were told of our PGM's
dismissal. There are a lot more questions than answers right now. Was Roland
set up to fail? Who would have the kind of power to juggle customer orders
to drop production numbers? Who seemed most pleased with Roland's departure?
Oh well... enough of "As The Stomach Turns" or whatever soap opera
management is playing this week. What we need to look at now is taking care
of ourselves. We have once more called on our brothers and sisters at the
United Steelworkers for help in this situation. The USW is now gathering
requested information on our behalf and we will provide that information to
you shortly. We, as your in-plant Union Organizing Committee, believe that
the protection provided by a fairly negotiated and legally binding Union
Contract is the best and only protection from the whims and soap opera games
management seems to enjoy.
On another subject, our new
safety slogan is now... LIFE
you... Be safe or be fired... Get hurt and go broke. In every meeting we
hear "Safety First!" In reality and practical application, Safety isn't
even a close second behind Production. If you disagree with this
allegation, let a safe practice affect your production numbers and see how
quickly the hammer falls on you. The only time Safety comes to the forefront
is after someone is hurt or management can use it to their advantage.
Beware the impending cover-up.
With the safety record now now in such disarray at the Lexington Plant,
management is looking to "hang somebody" to show how serious they are about
safety. The dismissal of Roland was just a first strike. What our management
team needs to remember is when fingers are pointed at the hourly workforce
to assign blame there are four fingers on every hand pointing right back at
the real problem. Management in one breath condemns an employees actions
that resulted in a devastating injury and in the next breath condones it as
a improperly applied rule on their behalf, thusly, this employee was spared
the new Letting Injuries
you safety policy. Another employee incurred a no less devastating injury
and the LIFE policy was fully applied. What's
the difference in these two injuries? Management assumed their favorite
shield from the storm of accountability, the Teflon cover of
deniability. Rather than taking care of all employees in their charge,
they pick and choose on the deniability scale who will and will not fall
into the realm of the LIFE policy. Fellow employees, this is not fair nor is
it just in any stretch of the imagination. Allowing management, a group
singularly focused on profitability, to decide your fate is neither smart
nor prudent on our part.
We have one option, afforded us under Federal Law, of
protection from this judge, jury and executioner role our management team
has assumed... Organize ourselves for the purpose of collective bargaining
and or mutual protection under Section 7 of the National Labor Relation Act
and negotiate a contract with clearly spelled out rules that cannot be
changed, mis-applied, or used as a weapon on the whim of management.
With a Contract, maybe we can change our safety slogan to
Let Injustice Finally
End at the Lexington Plant.
Kills & How It Almost Killed an
International Paper Employee
on the combination of factors that can make high temperatures fatal
Recently another employee succumbed to heat
exhaustion and this one was actually a heat stroke. We noticed that the
temperatures in the plant were 2 to 3 degrees warmer than the temperatures
outside. Staying hydrated is very important, but other factors come into
play that management needs to consider. Safety is preached but at times
isn’t followed up by common sense practices that they should implement
without hesitation. Please read on for some better insight from experts on
Last month, more than 3,200 temperature records were broken
or tied around the
United States, with mercury readings
including a scorching 114 degrees Fahrenheit in
Yuma, Ariz., 94 in Lincoln,
Neb., and 98 in Queens,
of the first seven days in July have seen record
including Saturday’s 105 degrees. That topped the record of 101 degrees on
July 7, 1936.
The temperatures in the past 10 days in Kentucky (*
denotes a record):
June 28 102, June 29:
102, June 30: 103*, July 1: 103*, July 2: 97*, July 3: 95, July 4:
99*,July 5: 99*, July 6: 103*, July 7: 105*
In the last
two weeks, a third of Americans have endured a heat advisory or excessive
heat warning. And temperatures from the Great Plains to the Atlantic coast
are running a good 10 to 15 degrees above average.
As the mercury has soared, so too have heat-related deaths.
The current count is 23, according to news reports. And with forecasts
projecting continued steaminess -- along with continued power outages -- in
many places, chances are that more people will succumb.
So, why can heat be so deadly? Hot weather alone is not
dangerous, said Chris Minson, an environmental physiologist at the University of
Oregon, Eugene. Instead, it's a combination of hot temperatures, high
humidity, and often preexisting health conditions that can push a
person's core body temperature to reach the danger zone of 104 F.
At that point, the nervous system goes haywire, the heart experiences
excessive stress, and organ systems begin to fail.
"If we can't
compensate in some way for external temperatures to protect our internal
temperatures, that's when things go wrong," Minson said.
"If you can't release heat, you've got problems."
The human body can actually tolerate high temperatures
quite well, Minson said. In experiments, people have withstood temperatures
as high as 215 F for as long as 30 minutes. And with training, athletes
often compete in long-distance running and biking races in desert conditions
without dangerously overheating.
To cope with
rising environmental temperatures, the heart begins to work harder to pump
blood to the skin, where blood vessels dilate to allow more heat to
dissipate. At the same time, we produce more sweat, which is the body's best
strategy for cooling down.
In order for sweat to cool us off, though, it has to
evaporate. As the salty liquid turns to a gas, the skin gets cooler. That,
in turn, cools the blood near the surface of the skin, which then can return
to the body's core and protect it from overheating.
high ambient temperatures and especially high levels of humidity,
evaporating beads of perspiration are replaced by pouring rivulets of sweat.
The result is a loss of liquid from the blood and the cells, but rivers of
sweat do nothing to lower core temperatures.
this ability to sweat that's a fantastic cooling system," Minson said. "Once
there's high humidity, now the problem is that sweating is no longer
and central nervous system are particularly sensitive to high internal
temperatures, which can cause confusion, strange behaviors, loss of memory
and aninability to think clearly. That makes it extremely difficult for a
heat-stressed person to realize that he's in trouble.
People with pre-existing health conditions face extra challenges. The heart
has to work harder in the heat, increasing the risk for heart attacks in
people with cardiovascular problems. For people with diabetes, kidney
diseases and other conditions, regulating temperature and fluid levels can
be particularly difficult, leading to dehydration, kidney failure, liver
problems and worse.
Warm nights that never dip below 75 or 80 degrees, make it
hard for the body to find time to recover, especially for people
who don't have air conditioners or who have lost power.
From 1979 to 2003, more than 8,000 people died from exposure to excessive
heat in the
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More people
died from heat during that period than from hurricanes, lightning,
tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.
People who are in good shape deal better with the heat,
because they sweat sooner and more and they have better blood flow to the
skin. But even if you're healthy and fit, exercising in the heat can push
you over the edge.
recommend drinking plenty of fluids and exercising indoors on the hottest
days. If you have to get out, drink one to two liters of water per hour. Hit
the trails or pound the pavement at the coolest time of day, usually in the
early morning. And watch for your area's heat index, which combines
temperatures with humidity levels to give a more accurate idea of how your
body will respond to the day's conditions.
Kentucky.com; July 7, 2012
Weather.aol.com July 7, 2012
*NOTE*Thank you Tony for that excellent
piece of insight and commentary. You are spot on as always. We
understand that Tommy is doing better now. Our thoughts and prayers go out
to Tommy and the entire Wells family. Tommy, We wish you a speedy recovery
and know that you are missed by all.
It is our hope
that this company owns its responsibility in this matter and does the right
thing for an employee that has given so much of his life to this job. Any of
us could have been in his same situation. The fact is, we all risk our lives
by working in hot conditions to make a living for our families. We work in
the heat as well as the cold. We travel in bad weather conditions to get to
work so our customers get their product. We take pride in doing our jobs to
best of our ability and look to our management team to protect our safety
and value us as the human beings we are. We are not disposable and easily
replaced. When workplace injuries such as this occur it is not the time to
play the blame game and start pointing fingers. Its not time to nit pick and
look for excuses and it is certainly never the time to try and bully a
injured employee and those who support him into backing off. It is
time for management to step up and take a proper stand on the side of right.
Its easy to say "safety first" but in practical application that has not
always proven to be the case. We ask that you, as employees of this
facility, watch how this company deals with Tommy closely. Keep a close eye
on the way our management team and their corporate counterparts manage this
situation. When it's all done, know one simple fact... It could have been
Here in Lexington we have a policy called Peer Review
where you are allowed to draw names and form a panel to hear your complaints
and problems when you feel like you have been treated unfairly. When an
employee has a problem with the system and it becomes necessary to do a Peer
Review this panel is "supposed to be" assembled in a quick and professional
manner. Recent events have proven this to not be the case in all
circumstances. What I fail to understand is why anyone would want to allow
justice to be handled by a blind draw conducted by the very people that you
are filing a complaint about. A Union grievance procedure gives you due
process under the law and allows you real legal representation and does not
depend on a lottery pick. The company bills this as the way to do things
within their system. They say it is fair for two members of the salaried
staff to sit on this panel to judge whether an hourly employee was treated
fairly by rules they are paid to enforce. It is also a sad situation when it
comes to light that management does not even understand the practical
application, guidelines, scope of authority, or general rules of this
policy. As Tony put it in his last posting, Making the rules as you
go. A management right that is wrong for you. Whether we are right or wrong
in the things we do, we all deserve a fair hearing to air out or side of the
story and be represented by proper council in these matters. A legally
binding Union contract will guarantee this for you. You can bet the sure
thing or keep playing the Justice Lottery... that choice is yours.
*NOTE* You have a better chance of getting struck by
lightning twice than hitting the lottery.
MAKING THE RULES AS YOU GO. A MANAGEMENT RIGHT THAT IS
WRONG FOR YOU!
One problem we have in Lexington is the fact we really
don’t know what to expect from day to day. Without a contract which is legal
and binding, management can make rules as they go, without your input or
hearing your concerns. They don’t have to follow their own rule book, which
they write and choose the terms and conditions at will. They can discipline
on the fly, without having rules in place to address their expectations and
We had a situation at the recent golf outing that
landed an employee in hot water. This employee made a statement to a female
member of management that he shouldn’t have made referring to her breasts we
were told. He received a suspension without pay and told he could no longer
attend any company events in the future.
We had a similar, almost exact situation happen when
Don Noort was our GM. Yes, Don stood right there beside the woman who was
then shall we say, the victim of the employee. The employee responsible for
these actions said it not once to her, but twice! We were informed by many,
that Don told the employee that he was out of his league. There was no
suspension, and the employee, as well as Don was later promoted to higher
positions. Go figure….. Don’s response was seen by many and still
talked about today.
The employee in question fell off a bar stool and had
to be helped back to his seat just prior to making these inappropriate
We have also been told that Chris Harding is a big fan
of Don. So much in fact that Don is the acting GM of Bowling Green, as well
as the Regional Sales Manager.
We have had many inappropriate incidents at these golf
outings in the past. Our company has been banned from several courses we
were told due to inappropriate behavior. The company even offers free
alcohol at these outings.
They have set a precedent of allowing this type of
behavior obviously. Never have they outlined the rules of engagement at
these functions in a flyer or the handbook. Never have they outlined
disciplinary actions that would follow if you were to fall outside the
rules. Keep in mind these functions are not on company time, you are not on
the clock. The main fault is that management has never addressed this as
a problem in the past!
We as the organizing committee in no way endorse
inappropriate comments or actions, whether sexual, racial or otherwise
deemed inappropriate. We hope that this will no longer be an issue in any
event and that management will address guidelines, before dishing out
punishment. This is a case of putting the cart ahead of the horse, so to
Ford, union share labor-management award
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 20, 2012) – Ford Motor Co.’s Louisville Assembly
Plant and United Auto Workers Local 682 have claimed the 19th annual
Labor-Management awardfrom the University of Louisville
The award, which honors an area workplace in which labor and
management have demonstrated cooperative relations, was presented last night
at The Olmsted.
Ford’s managers and employees teamed up to cut costs and develop
production efficiencies despite an extended downturn in auto sales,
prompting the company to spend more than $600 million to retool the plant to
make the 2013 Ford Escape, their award nomination said.
Production of the redesigned Escape is expected to add more than
3,700 new jobs at the plant over the next two years.
Other labor-management actions contributing to the company’s
• A cross-functional team of managers and workers have made
continuous improvements in performance and quality aimed at helping Ford
stay competitive in the market.
• Management and labor reached an agreement in November to add a
new shift at the assembly plan this year to meet customer demand.
• Company and UAW local leaders collaborated to create new hourly
positions dedicated to analyzing job safety and ergonomics
Ford opened its Louisville Assembly Plant off Fern Valley Road
south of Louisville International Airport in 1955
The National Labor Relations Act guarantees us the right to not only
organize for the purpose of collective bargaining but the right to organize
for the purpose of mutual protection. The latter is what we need to focus on
at this point in time. At the Lexington Plant we have an employee who now
has a broken foot. He says he broke this foot on working time so it should
be covered under Workman's Comp and management should make all efforts to
take care of this injured employee. Sadly, thus far, that hasn't exactly
been the case. This employee, who is on crutches, has been instructed to
"hang around" the break room and wait while the company tries to get the
Comp claim approved so he can see the needed specialist to take care of this
injury. This employee injured himself last week and has waited with a broken
foot until 4-17-2011 at which time he was informed that Worker's Comp may
not cover his foot and that his health insurance and his own wallet may have
to carry the burden of the medical attention he should have had last week.
This is just unquestionably ridiculous. This worker needs proper
representation by a union steward and the protection of a union contract. We
will continue to monitor this situation extremely close because this injured
employee is also a member of this in-plant organizing committee and we can't
help but wonder if the lack of proper attention to his condition may be
related to his affiliation to a Federally protected and concerted effort to
bring democracy to this workplace.
Welcome Bowling Green!
Well, here we are again. There is no good reason for the
outright punishment of hourly employees by this management team. I think
Tony has summed it up well with his latest commentary.
Smoke and Mirrors,
AGAIN and AGAIN
Just as we all thought management,
at the direction of Chris Harding had changed its ways by changing the
guard, we now see the light. A new GM and production manager should do the
trick we thought.
Roland is quite personable as well
as Kyle. They seem knowledgeable and far more compassionate and respectful
when dealing with people than their predecessors.
One huge problem remains. He is the
same problem we’ve dealt with for years. In our sessions with HR we have
mentioned his name time and time again. Don Noort.
He failed miserably as GM of our
facility. No question. The only reason we were narrowly defeated in the
last election was the promise that he would no longer reside in our
facility. Yet another promise has been broken. Oh, and the gain sharing
promise! They said we were so close to gain sharing, why jeopardize it!
Don has been over booking our plant
with orders. Several days this week we look at 6 million feet booked per day
when our capacity is no more than 4.5 million at best. This means Don can’t
add or doesn’t care to shaft us or our customers. When we have to call a
customer to move orders out this sends a disturbing message. The message
being that they can’t count on us to deliver as promised.
He has been told not to schedule
more than our capacity, but he is his own boss. Obviously nobody in Memphis
has the backbone to put him in his place. Why is he even still Here? What
plant in our corporation allows a sales manager to over ride a general
manager? My fear is that in the end he will cost us business or
serious health problems. Scroll down this page to see my commentary about
the health costs associated with over time! Business is our survival.
Our word to our customers should be as good as gold.
He’s supposedly a regional sale
manager. Why is he not in a regional office somewhere? Actually, why is he
employed here at all after his history of reckless behavior?
We feel defeated the minute we come
to work and learn of this arrogance. We know we can’t possibly fill the
orders he has committed to for the week. More overtime and still can’t
possibly catch up. Once again having to call customers and push orders out.
Then we learn he was upset that we
got Labor Day weekend off. He made us work it when he was GM, remember? So
he decides to book us through the roof the Friday before.
Then we learned that sales had to
work last Saturday because of the Witron system we have implemented. He and
his buddy Donna show up at 8 am and leave at 9:20 am. What if the sales
staff had a question or needed help in some manner? Don and Donna’s lack of
leadership at work again!
Here is the bottom line. Nothing is going to get better with
Don in this role…Smoke and mirrors. A Union contract is the only solution to
dealing with our situation. The company has deceived us in the past and this
will not change due to their mercy... They have none.
to the National Labor Relations Act we have the right to organize for the
purpose of collective bargaining and or MUTUAL PROTECTION. I think guarding
our customer base and the integrity of this facility is in all our best
interests. When a facility looses the trust and confidence of those who buy
our products we risk cut backs and possible job loss. Don is playing a
dangerous "shell game" with all our futures when he continues to write
checks that we cant cash. I do not pretend to understand the intricacies of
running an operation of this caliber but I do understand that broken
promises to customers will lead to a failure on the part of management
which, in turn, will lead to the downfall of a successful facility. I do
understand we want to demonstrate the need for additional equipment or
replacement of lost equipment but at what risk? Do the ends really justify
the means? It is the shared opinion of this committee that a Union
contract with a more clearly spelled out set of rules and goals would be in
all our best interests and serve to Mutually Protect us as a workforce and
providers for our families.
We would like to take this moment to express our support and
dedication to the organized labor movement in this company and the United
States as a whole. We oppose any bill of legislation or law that weakens or
interferes with our legal right to organize for the purpose of collective
bargaining and or mutual protection. Under Section 7 of the National Labor
Relations Act we are guaranteed that right and it is our chosen path to
support and fight for that right.
The punishment continues. Beware the retaliation of management if you
have the nerve to speak out in favor of a union or disagree with one of
their policies you will be branded as a troublemaker. They will cease to
like you and take you off their Christmas good kid list. You know that was
just a little touch of humor but it strikes a blow at the very real problem
of vindictive management and their habit of trying to get even with
employees that don't play their games and just want a fair days pay for a
fair days work. One thing that is getting way out of hand is
managements policy of promoting due to the "buddy" policy. Giving someone a
job that they are not qualified to do just because that person is in the
clique. You know it kind of brings to mind the fact I can go sit in a space
shuttle and call myself a pilot but I cant fly it but NASA likes me so what
the hell, why not let me fake it. When the thing crashes to the ground, we
can always blame it on the ground crew. The same principle applies to the
box plant except we can just blame the operators when the captain fails. A
little knowledge is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. We need to get
ourselves organized and become a United Steelworkers Local and start taking
control of our futures before the blame game starts and this "buddy" policy
robs us of our jobs
Has anyone felt any more disrespect in this workplace
than now? Management is pulling out all the stops and going full on with the
punish to drive production philosophy. This team was so ashamed of
their last survey results that they reverted to a generic Q&A approach with
no room for comments. In effect they said we don't care what you think,
want, or need. Has anyone bothered to ask the question if management
is so concerned about morale or workplace involvement on the part of the
hourly employee, why didn't they act on the results of last years survey
when many people voiced their concerns over some members of management
taking the role of a school yard bullies? It is our opinion that management
does not care about your morale and only talks about that when it is in
their interest and they want to look good in front of their bosses.
When will enough be enough? It is high time to look at the reality of
things. This management team is driven by their need to achieve higher
numbers to get bigger bonuses and brownie points with their superiors. We
need to treat this relationship we have with management as a business just
like they do and get ourselves a contract that will allow us to maintain a
more civil and balanced existence with this management team. With no Union
Contract we have no guaranteed rights and we get treated like we are being
treated now and I believe that to be very poorly. Many of you will readily
agree with me. We need a Union here in Lexington now more than ever in the
history of this plant . The poor treatment of the employees here must stop
and it is becoming apparent that no one in management is willing to do
anything to stop it. Why would they? Bigger whips equal bigger profits...
When the time comes sign your Union card and get ready to vote to protect
Updated new commentary from a good friend
President USW Local 1216 Chicago
Hey guys how you doing? I see things are still the same or worse. IP
Chicago is fighting mad also. This company wants to work your ass to the bone and
not hire anyone. Safety is a joke as long as their workers comp is down and no
accidents their happy but when it comes to production they will cut corners. I
will be here 34yrs this November and its a real struggle to get up and go to
work. I have been President of the union for the last 18 yrs. This is why I get
up to go to work because I am proud of the support I get from my fellow
co-workers. I was always proud of all the work you guys did down in Lexington
even if your not UNION. I would like to you as Steel Workers because with you
guys in charge I know your voice would be much stronger. I'm proud to post this
as President Of USW Local 1216 Chicago. Keep up the fight Even when your down.
Management often asks more of the hourly employee’s than they themselves are
willing to give. Sixty hour work weeks would definitely be one such
sacrifice they never adhere to. Is this common demand on blue collar workers
just a sacrifice of time with your family, or could it be more? I ran across
the article below which suggests it may very well put your health at great
doesn't just make you cranky and cut into your social schedule. A new, long-running study
suggests it may also be bad for your heart.
Researchers in London tracked more than 10,000 civil servants there for the
Whitehall II study, published in the May 12 edition of the "European Heart
People who toiled
away three or more hours beyond a typical seven-hour workday had a 60
percent higher risk of heart-related problems than those who didn't,
according to the findings.
"The association between long hours and coronary heart
independent of a range of risk factors that we measured at the start of the
study, such as smoking, being overweight or having high
said epidemiologist and lead author, Dr. Marianna Virtanen in a statement.
Virtanen, of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki,
Finland, and University College London, wrote that she and her colleagues
found the overtime workers were more at risk for death from heart disease,
nonfatal heart attacks and
But she added that further studies need to be done to definitively conclude
that the stress from
overtime work increases the risk of heart conditions.
"Our findings suggest a link between working long hours and increased
risk, but more research is needed before we can be confident that overtime
work would cause CHD," she said.
Virtanen also wants her team to examine whether working long hours has an
impact on other ailments like diabetes and depression.
The broad-based Whitehall II study began in 1985 and recruited 10,308 office
workers between the ages of 35 and 55 from 20 different civil service
departments in London.
Among the data asked for during the survey was a question about working
hours first posed between 1991 and 1994. To measure overtime effects,
researchers looked at information on 6,014 people -- 4,262 men and 1,752
women -- aged 39-61, tracking them until 2002-2004.
During the tracking period of about 11.2 years, Virtanen and colleagues in
Finland, the U.K. and France pinpointed 369 cases of fatal CHD, nonfatal heart
called myocardial infarctions) or angina.
The researchers adjusted for various factors including age, sex, marital
status and occupational status and found that working three to four hours of
overtime, but not one to two hours, was linked to a 60 percent higher rate
of heart problems compared with no overtime work. More adjustments of about
21 different risk factors made little difference in the results, the authors
Researchers said there could be several explanations for why working long
hours might lead to more heart disease. One is that overtime is often
related to type A behaviors and personalities -- associated with
competitiveness, tension, time consciousness and aggression -- as well as a
lack of sleep and an increase in depression and anxiety.
Undiagnosed high blood
also have been a factor.
Virtanen said the authors' findings are independent of the above factors, so
they aren't able to give a complete account of why overtime work seems to be
associated with a spike in heart disease risk until further studies are
conclusion, we have long stated that a mandatory overtime limit of 8 hours
per week should be in a negotiated contract with management. This would not
limit anyone who wishes to volunteer for more than 8 hours . This is
another prime example as to why this is necessary.
I'm willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt but are
we dealing with more of the same with a new wrapper? One thing is for
sure... things have changed but is it for the better? Do you really think
so? Does management still have their favorites that get away with anything
they please while the rest of us answer for even small infractions of their
unwritten code? Are you continually prodded for more production with no more
pay? Why can't management follow their own rules? 2010 is a good year to
seek some answers to these kind of questions and some relief for the ongoing issues that local management has chosen to
turn a blind eye to. It is my opinion and the shared opinion of this union
committee that the only true resolution to issues like these is through the
process of collective bargaining and the only way to secure that those
resolutions remain in tact is to lock them in with a legally binding union
contract. We are assured that Federal Legislation to assist us in this
pursuit is on the way. More to come.
Shares of the Memphis, Tenn-based paper company sank 63% last year,
compared with a 38% drop in the S&P 500 index, according to the report.
Despite such a drubbing, the company's CEO got total compensation of $38.2
million. According to the Corporate Library, John Faraci's compensation
included $21 million in pension payments he received while still working
at the company. Faraci, 59, has been CEO for six years. International
Paper said in a statement that Faraci's total compensation was $13 million
and that the Corporate Library "mistakenly included" the pension payments.
Ok so let this
poor ignorant farm boy understand this for a minute. These CEOS make
multimillion dollar paychecks. Cool wish I was one of them. Now the board
who approves this kind of extreme money gets how much? The assistant CEO
gets how much? The 10 assistants to the assistant gets how much? Then the
middle management gets a few million between all 100 of them I could only
guess? Ok so maybe a conservative guess here is that 50% of a company's
profit goes to the top 2% of its employees. Then you have the share
holders who get what, 2% on their money. Now this all has to go back to
Wall street and the chasing of the best returns. The exorbitant pay going
out to the top2% causes the company to increase its charges for goods and
services so that the profits can show a consistent increase. Now the rest
of us have to pay higher prices because of the increase and we have to pay
our government more money so that they can protect us from this kind of
9-14-09This letter was secured from the internet and contributed to
us by a member of this committee.
Hello to you all, fellow employees of IP,
We send you this mail because we sincerely think that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH in
the IP system.
We are a mill specialized since 35 years now in 100% waste based papers for
corrugating (fluting and liners). We have been bought by IP in the beginning
of the 1990s and now IP has suddenly decided to shut us down.
EBIT of the year 2007 is + 7 M Euros !! (11 M$). After this good year we
started to suffer from the crisis and the low market prices. To help the
mill results, the employees have given more than their best and have
accepted every effort asked by IP :
- extend the working days like working until Christmas eve late in the
- work on New years eve and day
- block all holidays and keep them for “conjunctural” stops decided by IP
- always do more and better and cheaper (best eficiency achieved in
may 2009) meanwhile accepting to take always more risks at work
because less and less capital was injected into the site to preserve the
industrial tool and infrastructures
We gave willingly without counting our sweat to keep our mill floating,
sometimes gave our blood without asking why machine guardings were missing
or why holes in the floor weren’t filled up in time or never.
Now we understand that the strategy was to press our mill until the last
drop and consider that what’s left is pure garbage, just good enough to
We are dying, you can’t do much for us but we hope that other sites won’t
accept to be treated has we have been.
STOP ACCEPTING TO DO ALWAYS MORE WITHOUT SOLID AND WRITTEN ENGAGEMENTS
because IP isn’t the ethic Group they pretend they are.
Be aware that many systems deployed by IP (Roadmap for personal
competencies development, CSA, KES, Gallup, Safety/Enviro surveys …) are
at the best useless because of the lack of will to spend capital on
these subjects and at the worse are often diversions or tools to measure,
compare and decide who to kill. Check if the official strategy isn’t
bringing you to a point of no return like us…
IP isn’t committed to safety, environment, employee development, best
practices and other bullsh*ts. These are just smokescreens build by an ever
bigger pyramid of internal leeches autoproclaimed as “Supports services” in
which more and more d*cks*ckers make they way up.
The small factories making the real economy are sucked to death by the stock
market wishes and by theses internal *ssh*les.
IP made our mill weaker and weaker and now their terminators are surrounding
us and the lethal injection is for soon. No future for us possible on the
site. So all that’s left to us is a last battle to obtain the best
compensation possible after such a traitorous attack. WE WILL FIGHT TILL OUR
LAST BREATH. As a great man said in a similar case, struggling for a matter
of life or death : We shall go on to the end,
we shall fight in France,
we shall fight in front of the corrugators and IP customers,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength around our
papermachines, we shall defend our mill, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the riverside,
we shall fight on the storage grounds,
we shall fight in the warehouses and in the streets
we shall fight in the meeting-rooms;
we shall never surrender,
Please have a thought for the 109 families of the ETIENNE MILL IN FRANCE on
the 30th of November when they will have to change life with a great feeling
of having been totally f*cked to the bone.
Sorry for the rude words but our feelings are even worse
If you feel that you can safely reply to us, we will be pleased of receiving
some support from you like kind words.
Thank you for reading this,
THE ETIENNE MILL STAFF
AND ALL THE OTHER PERSONS DIRECTLY CONCERNED BY THE CLOSURE OF THIS
INTERNATIONAL PAPER MILL
TO THE ETIENNE MILL STAFF, We are very sorry that this has happened to you
and we admire your strength to stand up for what few rights you have left.
We do not
endorse the use of foul language in writing to express ones self but I
understand their frustration. We also do not endorse the validity of the
claims made in this letter. It is posted here to aid this in-plant union
committee in it's effort to organize the workforce of International Paper
Lexington, Kentucky as a collective bargaining unit with the USW.
How about a
survey on exactly how much of what we have heard in these latest meetings do
we believe? How many times have we all heard the same old story?
going to change." "Things will get better." "Give me a chance."
Been there, Done that, bought the t-shirt and don't want to go back!
The only way anything will change is for us to
organize a union and start bargaining instead of begging. Anytime a
manager starts a meeting with announcing he has closed several plants is a
scare tactic to get your attention focused on whatever message he wants to
instill in your mind. OK here is a really good one... Mike Delaney's
position was eliminated but they are going to hire another person to fill
it? How does that equal an eliminated position? Sounds to me like they
wanted to set up a scapegoat to take the fall for the problems in Lexington
and, while I'm sure this eliminated position story is a ruse and Mike
Delaney is probably getting a promotion, I guess they figured why not use
this for a cover similar to the way they used Don in the last Union
campaign. I mean why not? It worked back then. Has anybody questioned
the fact that these meetings are always scheduled for the last few minutes
of the day? It seems to me they are trying to have their say and shove us
out the door. Nobody really wants to ask questions if it means we are going
to have to stay after our shift is over to get the answers. In my personal
opinion, that's cowardice on the part of management to hide from their
employees. Management wants the truth on their survey? Since when? I
don't think so...They want whatever makes life easy on them and keeps the
"right people" in control. I mean, how do you face the truth if you are in
denial? You speak the truth and it is instantly denied and whitewashed over
like a rotten fence post. I am going to be honest in saying I have
taken it easy in these past campaigns. Protected some people to my own
derision. That will be the case no more. This factory needs a union
badly. The workers need their rights protected from a management team that
has gone far astray of the respect and dignity doctrine that was policy at
one time. As an In-plant Union Committee Member, It is my chosen duty to
attempt to bring that union to the people of the Lexington Facility and I
shall not allow personal likes and dislikes to interfere with that duty any
longer. Managers who insist on threatening and bullying employees shall be
held accountable to the people for those actions in this campaign and all
things said shall become public record for all to see as is my right under
section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. In future writings I
will be discussing the various safety violations that have been ignored and
swept under the rug by this management team as well as several other bad
That's all for now. Marcus Bryant
Not for This Mgmt. Team
On this hot day in August, (08-10-09)
our management team decides to close several doors to our facility. Doors
that have been traditionally left open to assist with the poor ventilation
of this building. Why you may ask? There is no logical answer
that I am aware of. In over 24 years of service at this facility I have
never heard of this issue coming up until now.
mind our management team just gave themselves a state of the art air
conditioning system. You give them your hard work and sweat everyday
as the production numbers show. Is this how they show you the respect and
appreciation you deserve? By putting your health at risk through possible
Reflect for a moment the track record of the new
management’s safety program. No longer are we recognized as a VPP plant.
They scrapped the program after spending a small fortune on it. Cost was the
reason I am told. They replaced a well educated safety coordinator with an
hourly worker who has nowhere near the enthusiasm or expertise as the man
formerly in charge.
I was told Denny gave him this position to
keep Memphis out of Lexington’s business. He doesn’t want them involved in
our safety issues.
I bet he doesn’t want them to know how they
manipulate KIWI either. How orders are manipulated to take advantage of
footage so they can get those big numbers. That’s another issue though.
We will address that one soon in full detail!
Several people in the past have had to seek medical
attention due to heat issues. This is with the doors open. Now they have
shut the doors realizing the dangers involved. Nothing of any value has
been established by our management to deal with the increased risk to your
safety by closing the doors. In legal terms, this is a case of negligence.
Should you become dizzy, or feel nauseas or faint,
you should seek a cool place and get help. Even if you have to shut down the
machine to do so. Remember to pace yourself on the job. The harder you
exert yourself in extreme heat, the greater the danger. If you need medical
attention, request it immediately. Heat stroke is a very serious issue.
If anyone is denied help or reprimanded for these
things let us know. We can help you in following up with OSHA or the NLRB.
The real danger is working for a management team
who has no concern or respect for you, without a contract to protect you
from this kind of arrogance. Or should I say ignorance. Very soon you
will have a chance to change this. Reflect on this new policy when it comes
time for you to make that decision.
Greenwashing? I have to admit that was a new one on me but after it was
explained, It makes perfect sense.
“Green is green as in the color of money”
- Brand director of General Electric, Brandweek, July 26, 2006
“Greenwashing” is the act of misleading the public regarding the
environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a
product, service, or business line. Due to the public’s increased awareness
of environmental issues, including global warming, deforestation, and the
loss of endangered species, greenwashing has become a staple of corporations
marketing efforts. All of the companies in this article have made some
effort to address these concerns. Some of them appear to be trying harder
than others, and even a few of them have made legitimate efforts to become
responsible corporate stewards of the environment. Evidenced by the support
of environmental groups and corporate responsibility professionals, many of
these companies’ green initiatives have made a positive impact.
Hypocrisy: America’s Corporate Environment Champions Pollute The World
The irony of the "green" movement of U.S. companies is that many of the
firms that spend the most money and public relations effort trying to show
that they are trying to improve the environment are also among the most
prolific polluters in the country.
24/7 Wall St. profiles 10 of the biggest offenders
majority of America's largest companies have become part of the "green"
movement. Some have fleets of hybrid trucks. Others install solar panels on
their large buildings to consume energy more cost effectively with less of
an impact on the environment. Many give generously to environmental
is some of them are among the most prolific polluters in the country.
Pollution does not mean that the companies are doing anything illegal.
Instead, it simply refers to natural consequence of the companies'
industrial efforts which result in contamination to the air, soil or water
by the discharge of substances that are toxic to the environment. 24/7 Wall
St. has put together a list of the top 10 "greenwashers" in America.
Continue through our gallery to see who made the list.
1) General Electric (GE)
2) American Electric Power (AEP)
3) ExxonMobil (XOM)
4) DuPont (DFT)
5) Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
6) Waste Management, Inc. (WMI)
International Paper (IP)
8) BP (BP)
9) Dow Chemical (DOW)
10) General Motors (GM)
In the early 1990s, following a series of reports issued by the United
Nations on sustainable development and rainforest conservation, the forest
products industry began to receive increased attention over its land-use
strategies regarding logging. Specifically, these companies, including
International Paper, received negative publicity regarding their use of
chemicals, clear-cutting, and inadequate conservation protection. Informed
by increased awareness of sustainable practices, third-party certification
has become a critical tool for promoting ecologically responsible forestry
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit founded
in 1993 by environmental groups, the forestry profession, and community
groups. Its stated purpose “is to improve forest management worldwide” by
providing “a model for environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and
economically viable forest stewardship.”
In 1994, International Paper, in collaboration with the American Forest &
Paper Association (AFPA) – the national trade association for the forest,
pulp, paper, paperboard, and wood products industry – founded the
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). According to AFPA website, the
association’s members “agreed to adhere to a set of forestry principles that
would meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs.”
According to an independent study commissioned by both FSC and SFI, although
SFI was initially developed as an industry led self-improvement program, “it
has evolved into a program that promotes third-party certification of
forestry practices of member companies and licensees.” However, contrary to
this assessment, environmental groups, including The Sierra Club, The Nation
Environmental Defense Fund and the Rainforest Action Network have published
reports critical of what they characterize as weak standards for
certification. According to these groups, because SFI standards were
developed by the same industry that requires certification, SFI
certification provides a measurement for sustainability that is weak on
oversight and contrary to its stated purpose.
The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a rating tool of the nonprofit
for green building design and construction that seeks to provide measurable
results for building owners and occupants. The LEED green building
certification program for new construction requirements are intended to
“encourage environmentally responsible forest management.” The most recent
version of LEED, with a scheduled launch of April 27, requires that new
construction seeking the LEED designation must “Use a minimum of 50% (based
on cost) of wood-based materials and products that are certified in
accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria,
for wood building components.”
FSC is not without its critics. It may be that some groups find both
acceptable. However, despite this criticism, 24/7 Wall St is unaware of any
environmental groups that have suggested that SFI is better than FSC.
According to International Paper’s 2008 “Sustainability Update,” FSC
certification in the U.S. reflects a fraction of the certification used by
the company’s businesses. Of the company’s 16 domestic paper mills only one
uses FSC certification. Similarly, domestic container plants and wood
procurement systems both use SFI certification in lieu of FSC.
According to TRI, for the paper industry, International Paper was the
largest producer of chemicals with fifteen facilities in the top 100
generating 42,554,027 pounds in waste. The company also had the second
highest producing facility of TRI production-related waste with 43,320,612
pounds. According to PERI, International Paper is the thirty-first most
toxic company with a toxic score of 49,385.
In 2008, the Rainforest Action Network condemned a proposal by International
Paper to build a pulp mill and establish 1.2 million acres of plantation
forest in Indonesia’s rainforest. This came as a surprise to RAN because
the company had established an internal policy that it would not expand into
Indonesia because it is a global warming and biodiversity hot spot.
Following the release, Thomas E. Gestrich, president of International Paper
Asia, explained the company’s plans in Indonesia. Mr.Gestrich said that he
would prefer land that had already been cleared, but failed to explain how
the company would secure hundreds of thousands of meters of forest without
disturbing the natural habitat, waters or indigenous peoples.
Out of the LCV’s Dirty Dozen, International Paper’s PAC has
donated thousands of dollars to 5 of the Dirty Dozen, including the leading
denier of global warming, Senator Jim Inhofe.
Research credit to Tony Bellamy
“We like driving the car and we're not going to give
the steering wheel to anybody but us.”
—Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO, cited by Thomas Frank in the Wall
Hello fellow Union supporters and welcome
to the first update of the new year. Yes that's right...we haven't given up,
not yet and not by a long shot. We, like many of our fellow Union activists,
are anxiously waiting to see where the Employee Free Choice Act takes us. As
this act draws closer to becoming law, you will be bombarded by a well oiled
corporate propaganda machine with a reported 200 million dollar campaign
budget. 200 million dollars? Really? That tells me one thing, they are
scared! Anytime you see big corporations striking a match to money like that
it is in fear of loosing control. A level of control described by the
reported quote at the top of this article from Lee Scott the CEO of
Wal-Mart. They are driving the car and we are just riding along. My question
is...how has that worked out so far? The economy is in the toilet, the rich
ruling class is investing all it's money in China and the American worker is
taking a beating like never before and now the profiteering scoundrels that
caused this mess in the first place with their million dollar bonuses and
astronomical expense accounts are asking you to steer clear of a proposed
act that will give you the right to negotiate a better future for you and
you family? And I hear if we go along with that, they have some lovely
Arizona beach front property for sale too! Now, before someone misquotes me,
I am not advocating that we kick corporate America while its down but I damn
sure don't think we need to hand over the proverbial keys to the candy
store. Facts are facts, the American hourly workforce had little to do with
this recession. Quite to the contrary, we would love to buy new cars and
houses but thanks to continued poor corporate decisions
(like a 200 million dollar anti-union ad campaign)
we are forced to live with what we have. Even when CEO's are caught with
their hands in the cookie jar they still try to blame the demands of the
workforce or claim entitlement to the millions of dollars they sucked out of
the companies they head. In a Washington interview, President Obama referred
to the Wall Street CEO's actions as "Shameful." Vice President Biden said
they should be "Thrown in the Brig."
The American hourly workforce must take
actions to protect its self and the future of labor in this country. We are
being systematically sold out to the highest bidder by corporate CEO's that
just don't care one way or the other. Why should they give two shakes about
you, your family or this country...with the pile of greed money they
hauled out of so called "Public Held Corporations" They got theirs covered
and they can always move to China. And here is the really funny
part...with this proposed government bailout they are asking the same people
that the corporations have sold out and betrayed to fork over more money so
they can keep doing business as usual. Some are even trying to use the money
to pay promised bonuses to their CEO's Talk about adding insult to
injury! A BONUS? the dude was a grand failure in his job and ran
his company into a ditch so bad that he has to beg for government
assisted corporate welfare and he wants his bonus? The only bonus he
deserves is a door knob in the ass as he leaves.
One thing to remember...these are
the same people that begrudge hourly employees the right to organize a
In the coming months we will see what the
Employee Free Choice Act brings us and Tony and I along with the rest of
this committee will do our best to bring the most current information we
have to you. Remember to work safe.
*NOTE* With the
downturn in the economy some bosses may use this recession as an excuse to
bypass safety. Don't risk your health and well being for anyone. If you feel
you are being forced to work unsafely contact Kentucky OSHA and report the
Kentucky Labor Cabinet
Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program
1047 US HWY 127 South, Suite 4
Frankfort, KY 40601
In closing I would like to leave you with
these final remarks about Fair Trade.
It is not a Fair Trade situation when cut
rate products manufactured by slave labor are introduced into the American
Market. The workers in these countries are nothing more than slaves to the
company they work for and may work their entire short lives for nothing more
than food to stay alive. Some of those that are lucky enough to be paid will
receive less than 5% of an American workers wages with no benefits. That is
5 cents on the dollar per hour that these people make. It is small wonder
that they can sell this junk so cheaply. Our government must halt the influx
of this type of product and deem it an unfair trade advantage. We, as
American workers, can not and will not live on third world pay in order for
corporations to report record profits and hand out million dollar bonus
checks to the privileged few. Organized labor has worked
for years to stop this and to raise the standards of employment not only for
this country but for nations abroad. Trade is only fair when it is done on a level
It is of extreme importance that you know your Federally Protected Rights!
To not know them or to not exercise them is equivalent to giving them up!
It is our chosen responsibility
as an in-plant organizing committee
to inform you of these rights. The United States Government gives you
one and only one way to bargain legally with your employer and that is
collectively through a Union. Those of you that want to see a change at
this facility should know this.
The United States Government, through the National
Labor Relations Act, gives you the LEGAL RIGHT to:
form or join a union;
Bargain over wages, working conditions, and fringe
benefits with your employer;
Talk about the union at work as you would talk about any
Distribute literature in non-work areas;
Wear a union button and insignia at work;
Have small group meetings at lunchtime or break time as
long as you are not creating a disturbance or blocking movement of
Solicit other employees for union membership, both on
lunch or break time even on company property.
rights are protected by the federal government, and your employer may not
discriminate against you for exercising these rights.
It is illegal for your employer
Threaten or coerce you in any way;
Retaliate against you in any way for union activities;
Close the facility or threaten, directly or indirectly,
to close the facility simply because a union is organized;
Lay off employees or threaten, directly or indirectly,
to lay off employees simply because a union is organized;
Threaten, directly or indirectly, that you will lose
wages, benefits, or working conditions by choosing a union;
Promise increases in pay or benefits during a campaign
if employees vote against the union;
Spy on your union activities;
Ask you about your union activities or attitudes.
I'm sure some of you have been subjected to this kind of
verbal bullying by management. One thing I have always been fond of
is management's double talk. You know what I mean... Management says they
don't care if we go union in one breath but condemn it and tell you how
terrible it is in the next. They tell you how they wont pay another dime
more than you are making right now because of some Corporate "Money Pie"
Formula... also the boss will tell you Union can't improve anything for
you but they are willing to spend untold thousands of dollars to run a
counter campaign as soon as we start signing union cards. If Union is so
worthless and may cost us money and, indirectly, save the company money...
why would the boss fight it?
One of managements favorite philosophies is what I call
throwing crap at a wall. The idea is simple, throw enough crap at a wall
and some is bound to stick. In management's version, they toss out enough
constant misleading misinformation to keep people confused. In the last
month or two I have heard about every strike, work stoppage,
decertification and any number of other labor related issues some in our
industry, some not even close. Anything to darken the view of
Unionization. I wonder when and where they get the time to research this
information? The fact the boss feels it necessary to relay this
information should tell you he sees union as a legitimate threat to his
dictatorship at this facility. Know you rights!
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Solidarity to our
Brothers and Sisters inSan Antonio, Texas.
The Lone Star State!
7-12-08 Message from an old friend!
I am hoping all is well at IP Lexington! This comment
is from a long time company man who was shafted years ago. Working hard and
productivity has nothing to do with whether you are pro company or pro
union. As a man who was raised to work hard with pride, I can tell you
efforts are/or should be rewarded with pay and benefits for the TEAM. That
won't happen for the IP workers under the thumb of CORPORATE GIANTS. You are
no one without representation. Take a number and wait patiently for the
company to reward you, just don't hold your breath while your waiting. Don't
get hurt on the job. You will be labeled and tagged for removal. Don't speak
your mind if your tone and message is negative. You will be targeted as a
trouble maker. Don't mention a union or your plant might close. IF YOU DON'T
SIGN FOR A VOTE YOU CAN ONLY BLAME YOURSELF FOR THE POOR CONDITIONS YOU WORK
UNDER. STEP UP AND SHOW YOUR PRIDE IN YOUR WORKPLACE, YOUR CO-WORKERS AND
KENT PFALZER - FORMER N-19 SLAVE.
Kent from all your committee brothers! You and your strong work ethics,
fairness and voice for the people are greatly missed! We all wish you the
best and hope you will stay in contact.
The principals of
brotherhood and unity are not forgotten so long as there are people who
are willing to stand for the greater good against what may seem to be
insurmountable odds and the scorn of those who would seek to strip us of
the common labor rights of all American Working People.
Those who chose to allow
their rights to be taken or chose to remain silent as their rights or the
rights of those around them are violated will soon find themselves
subservient to a system that worships money and profits as its governing
force. Such a system devalues the human element of manufacturing as merely
a means to achieve an end.
Working people have very
little they can depend on besides each other. To turn your back as one of
your own people is victimized begins a cycle in which you will have to
keep turning until you come face to face with your own persecution. Who
will stand for you and by you then?
Just a few thoughts from M.B.
This network is created and managed by
Marcus Bryant & Tony Bellamy with the
sole intentions of exercising their
legal right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining.
Your in-plant organizing
committee is: Tony
Bellamy, Roger "3 O'clock" Clark, Dennis "The
Enforcer" Brannock, Greg Pelfrey,Jim Rohr,Shane
Nolan,Quentin Gay, Tommy Wells,Rodney Clem,Hugh Reed,
Emery "The Big E" Addison,
Scotty P'Simer,Jason Brockman And
notice to all that, under Section 7 of the
National Labor Relations Act, we are participating in
a Federally Protected Activity to organize the workforce of International
Paper Lexington for the
purpose of collective bargaining. Any
and all of the contents of this website is used, exclusively, for
that stated purpose. No other meaning should be assigned or implied to
said content. By Federal Law, any misrepresentation or alteration of the
original copyrighted material contained in this website is
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