Steelworkers picket SappiUnhappy with the latest contract offer, union workers hold an informational picket today of Cloquet's Sappi Fine Paper.
By: Andy Greder, Duluth News Tribune, Pine Journal
Unhappy with the latest contract offer, union workers at Cloquet’s Sappi Fine Paper planned to hold an informational picket tonight during a company party at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
Representatives from the Steelworkers union voted against the company’s last offer in December. They are contesting the contract terms on pension, medical benefits and wages.
“It’s an unfair contract,” said worker Mike Mrkonjick. “It’s a substandard offer.”
Amy Olson, spokeswoman for Sappi Fine Paper North America, said the contract is both “positive and fair.”
“The package includes increases in the areas of wages and pension, and improvements in many other benefits, as well as contract language changes sought by both unions,” Olson said in a prepared statement.
The National Conference of Firemen and Oilers local approved the package in November, Olson said. She said the package contains no takeaways in wages, benefits or retirement plans, and the company continues to pay 80 percent of the premiums for health care plans.
The sides have been in negotiations since April.