Union Workers at Sappi's Cloquet Mill Vote to Strike if Necessary

Nov. 28, 2012 - Sappi Fine Paper North America said that its Cloquet Mill employees represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) have authorized their leadership to call a strike if it chooses to do so as a result of the two sides being unable to come to an agreement over a new labor contract.

"Even though such a vote is not uncommon, and does not mean a strike will occur, we are very disappointed in the membership's action, given our fair and competitive contract package," said Rick Dwyer, Managing Director, Cloquet, Sappi Fine Paper North America.

In a statement Sappi said: "In addition to offering a very competitive package, Sappi is making a major commitment to the Cloquet site and its employees. The $170 million capital project to convert the pulp mill to specialized cellulose will help provide attractive jobs for years to come.

"At a time of so much industry uncertainty, including bankruptcies, mill closures and layoffs, we are disappointed that our employees would risk a potential strike over the highly competitive, total compensation and benefits package offered by Sappi.

"We are hopeful that our Cloquet employees represented by the USW, on reflection, will ratify the contract. However, in the event the Steelworkers strike, we will fully pursue our legally protected right to operate the mill, and supply our customers and are prepared to do so."

Sappi Fine Paper North America is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers and market pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

SOURCE: Sappi Fine Paper North America