Press Release – September 21, 2022
IAMAW members have been on strike against Weyerhaeuser for the past nine days. The IAM bargaining
team has met with the company one time during that time and has a meeting scheduled with the
company bargaining team tomorrow, Thursday the 22nd. At our first meeting since being on strike, the
Union made a proposal that addressed those issues (wages, vacation, retirement, and healthcare) that
were the reasons the company’s “Best and Final” offer was overwhelmingly rejected by the over 1100
workers the Union represents.
These workers are what this strike is all about. They are Log Truck Drivers like Bruce and Jason. They are
Sawmill workers like Steve and Ulynn. They are mechanics like Daren and Wayne. They are millwrights
like Bill and Rick. They are electricians like Kevin and Jason. They are loggers like Henry and Darby. They
came to work for Weyerhaeuser because it was the place to be. An employer that provided good family-
supporting wages. Solid low-cost healthcare. Job Security. Good time off benefits. And a place where
one could have a career that reached all the way to retirement. They are so good at their jobs that they
worked through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic as essential workers and came out of it to increase the
company’s profits to new record territory. But Weyerhaeuser has not kept up with the changes the labor
and working economy has seen in the last few years. High cost of living, high inflation, labor shortages,
and changes other employers have implemented in response, have left Weyerhaeuser behind. It is not
THE place to work that it used to be and has become just another job.
We went into this bargain for a new Union Contract to work with Weyerhaeuser to put it back on top.
To make them a desirable place to work, provide for a family, and have a long successful career. But at
the bargaining table, we were faced with the status quo, members having to pay more, and ultimately
losing in relation to what is happening in reality. The company’s proposal was rejected. The company
has recently mailed this proposal out to our members and told them how good it is 18 days after they
rejected it. We are waiting for their real proposal; one that recognizes our members’ worth, the work
our members do, the economic reality our workers are living in, the value each employee brings to this
company, and a proposal that makes Weyerhaeuser a great place to work again.
Our members, Weyerhaeuser’s workers, deserve better. All workers deserve better. Corporations have
seen outlandish increases in their bottom line and those increases are only made with the hands and
feet of workers. All wealth is the product of Labor – John Locke. We are asking that our Labor be
recognized for its role in making wealth for Weyerhaeuser.
September 16, 2022
Our over 1100 members are holding the line. We have struck 4 lumber mills, including two of the nation’s largest producing mills in Longview, WA, and Cottage Grove, OR. We have struck for our work in the over 2.6 million acres of forest in the NW. We have struck the thousands and thousands of logging and highway roads our truck drivers drive. We struck because that work is essential to our community’s economy, it is essential for Weyerhaeuser to continue to reap record profits, and is vitally essential for each and every IAM member that works at Weyerhaeuser to provide for their families and have a secure future.
The community support has been amazing. Our picket lines have seen thousands of people show their support. Every honk is a call to bring Weyerhaeuser back to the table. Every wave is a statement that we are behind you. The boxes of homemade cookies, the store-bought bags of hamburgers, and the boxes of donated meals from little mom-and-pop restaurants has strengthened our resolve. Thank you, to all that have shown support. We are in this until we get a fair contract. And we will be here until we do!
Our strike line locations are posted on our iamw24.org website. I know that each location would appreciate you stopping by; hold a sign, talk with us, bring a treat or two, anything to show your support.
We met with the company today to continue bargaining, our first meeting since Aug 19, and our rejection of their proposal on Sept 2. That’s two weeks later. Your bargaining committee has been and continues to be ready to meet at any time any day. Weyerhaeuser is working with an outside attorney and is at the whim and schedule of that attorney. All we ask is that we sit down and come to an agreement. We want our members to continue to do what they do best; produce lumber, log logs, drive trucks, and provide for their families. We made proposals to improve the company’s last rejected proposal. We continue to work for improved wage increases. No employee premium share for healthcare. No cuts to vacation. And improved retirement. We have next Thursday scheduled for our next meeting, and the attorney did bring in an associate attorney to back him up, and that raises the possibility (ever so slightly in our minds) that we can meet sooner.
Our members have done a fantastic job in getting our first strike in 36 years organized and running. We are preparing for the long haul and remaining hopeful for the near future.
Your Bargaining Team
Brandon, Jeff, Tom, Kelly, Jason, Henry, Dave, Mike, and Kevin
Brandon R. Bryant
IAMAW District W24
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2022
Contact: Russell Sanders, Oregon AFL-CIO, email@example.com / (503) 232-1195 ext. 314
Striking Weyerhaeuser Workers to Hold Rally on Saturday at Santiam Sawmill
LEBANON, ORE. - On Saturday, September 17, 2022 striking Weyerhaeuser workers will hold a rally at the Santiam Sawmill located at 30440 Fairview Road in Lebanon, Oregon. The rally will be held from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. The striking workers have been on picket lines at the locations in Oregon and Washington since midnight on Tuesday, September 13. Many Weyerhaeuser workers are expected to be in attendance at the rally Saturday along with other unions and allies showing support for the workers and their community.
IAMAW District Lodge W24 President Directing Business Representative Brandon Bryant explained why the strike was an important and necessary step for members of the union to take:
“Weyerhaeuser is making record profits and their bargaining proposals have been nothing short of corporate greed. They’re calling for cuts to pay, cuts to healthcare, and cuts to benefits and we’re striking because we know they have the money to do better than what they’ve proposed. They called us essential while we kept Oregon’s timber industry in business during the pandemic and now they’re treating us like dispensable workers. We’re fighting for our families’ livelihoods and for our communities. With inflation gripping working families, now isn’t the time for cuts. The corporate greed of Weyerhaeuser is unacceptable and the strike will continue until they come to the table with a sensible offer.”
The IAMAW represents 1,100 Weyerhaeuser workers at locations in Oregon and Washington. Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the Seattle-based company have been ongoing since this spring. On August 19, 2022 an overwhelming number of IAMAW members voted against the company’s latest proposal and took a vote to strike shortly thereafter.
Despite reporting record profits (WeyCo reported a revenue of $10.63 BILLION dollars, a profit increase of 8.28% from the previous year), Weyerhaeuser is demanding cuts to healthcare and wage increases that aren’t sufficient to support a family. The workers and their families deserve better. IAM Woodworkers have taken the courageous step to stand up to corporate greed and are on strike!
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP
STRIKING WOODWORKERS AT WEYERHAEUSER :
Visit a picket line. Click here for to RSVP to a picket line in Oregon, for Washington locations please contact Chris Maxie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Picket times vary per location, please see the attached flyer. Reach out to me if you can coordinate a day for your union to come and support.
Sign and share the petition. Click here to sign and share a petition in support of striking IAMAW woodworkers at Weyerhaeuser.
Spread the word on social media. Click here for social media resources including news coverage links, graphics, messaging, and more.
LINN & BENTON COUNTY FOLKS
If You Live Near Lebanon or Have Members or Family in the Area
There will be a Rally at the Santiam Sawmill THIS Saturday, Sep. 17th from 1pm-3pm. The Address is: 30440 Fairview Rd, Lebanon, OR 97355.
*Given the logistics of the Coos Bay facility, contact me at Chris@oraflcio.org or at 971-336-0502 if you'd like to coordinate a time to go to the picket line.
I'll leave you all with this: ♫the Marching Song of the IWA♫
In Solidarity (Forever!),
Chris Maxie | Lead Political & Strategic Organizer
September 14, 2022
The IAM membership that works at multiple locations for Weyerhaeuser hit the strike lines at 12:01am Tuesday, September 13th. This is after our rejection of the company’s proposal and the company’s failure to return to the bargaining table.
We have notified the company of our rejection, and those issues relative to that rejection, but as of today, have not had additional dates or times scheduled to return to negotiations. The company has told us that they have availability this coming Friday, September 16th, and we are still waiting for that date and time to be confirmed.
The IAM intends to continue to bargain in good faith with Weyerhaeuser and is available at any time or day, to continue that negotiation. We have had a good relationship with our employer for many decades and went into this bargain to continue and grow that relationship; a relationship that is symbiotic – good for them and good for us. Weyerhaeuser has reaped the good from our labor over the past 4 years of this collective bargaining agreement. All we are asking for is a fair share of that good. We were seeking improvements that would make Weyerhaeuser a desirable place to have a career, as it once was, but those improvements were pushed aside to maintain the status quo. The result; all that hard work with little to no reward.
John Locke said, “All wealth is the product of labor.” The Union movement is about making sure that labor is recognized and rewarded fairly for that labor. Union Contracts outline an agreement between those that perform that labor and those that reap from that labor. The tradeoffs are an agreement that both parties abide by that covers wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions. That is what we are in negotiations with Weyerhaeuser for, an agreement that fairly sets the standard for those wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions. Their proposal fell short, didn’t fairly recognize our labor, and was rejected.
Since 1986, we have always come to an agreement with Weyerhaeuser for renewals for those agreements. This is the first time since then, that we have been forced to take action to strike. And this is because Weyerhaeuser has not come back to the table to talk. We want to continue and grow our relationship with our employer, and that includes working toward a new agreement, one that is acceptable to BOTH parties. This one wasn’t acceptable to us, and needs improvement.
IAMAW District W24
President Directing Business Rep
Members affected – over 1100 – 14 Different Union Contracts – In Oregon and Washington
Union – International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
(International Association of Woodworkers merged with the IAM in 1994)
Locations of strike lines and Union Local Information – see below.
Tuesday September 13
We have made the very difficult decision to withhold our labor from Weyerhaeuser, with a strike. Although we hope to continue to negotiate with the company, their delays have forced our hand to take this action. We hope to secure a fair offer that recognizes the hard work and dedication our members have given to their employer. The company has mentioned to us that they are available to meet and continue negotiations this Friday, and we await confirmation of that, and when that happens we will return to the table and bargaining in good faith.
September 9, 2022
The IAMAW represents over 1100 members that work at Weyerhaeuser in Washington and Oregon. This covers 14 different contracts with locations from Aberdeen, Longview, and Raymond WA to Coos Bay, Springfield, and Cottage Grove, OR. Our members are sawmill workers, log yard scalers and equipment operators, mechanical loggers, and log truck drivers, including a host of maintenance, mechanical, and electrical workers. We have been in negotiations with the company since April of this year for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that expired May 31, 2022. We continue to work under the previous agreement until the end of our negotiations, and that time may be coming very soon.
The company presented to us a Best and Final proposal for our membership to vote on August 19. With proper, timely notification of the upcoming vote on this proposal, and tackling this vote in locations over 350 miles apart, the IAM bargaining committee accomplished this vote This ratification vote, and associated informational meetings took place over the last two weeks and we tallied our memberships’ ballots on September 2. The company’s proposal did include a number of improvements (no more reduction to sick leave payouts, small shift differential increases, and other language changes) but came nowhere close to what our members wanted or deserve. We had the largest turn out of our membership for this contract vote that anyone can recall, with over 80% of our membership voting. The offer from the company was overwhelmingly rejected and our associated vote to strike was soundly passed. Issues for rejection were, substandard general wage increases, cuts to vacation, employee paying for premiums and no other improvements to healthcare, and no improvement on retirement.
In light of Weyerhaeuser gaining record profits in 2021 (source) & (source) and reporting revenue for the 12 months ending June 2022 of $10.63 billion dollars an increase of 8.28% in year-over-year earnings (source), the company fell quite short on their economic package. This economic package, which included some wage increases, also included, for the first time in decades employees paying part of the premiums for their high deductible health care plan. This may seem like the norm out in the world today, but it is something that has not happened to our membership at Weyerhaeuser. And making this change now, in light of the billions in revenue that our membership has created for this company, smacks of nothing more than corporate greed. This is not a Cadillac healthcare plan, but a basic high deductible healthcare plan and many of our members meet the maximum out-of-pocket expenses for their families in addition to the high deductibles every year. All our members want is their fair share of the profits they earned for the company, keep up with the cost of living, and make the gains that a good employer should offer, in light of the success they have reaped off the labor of their employees.
The IAM and Weyerhaeuser have worked together for decades and have always come to an agreement, since our last strike in 1986. There seems to be a change in the air at this company, as in many companies, where the numbers on the page mean more than the hands and feet that produce those numbers. The IAM went into this bargain, with the idea of working with Weyerhaeuser to help them become a more desirable employer, one that would stand out from the rest, and be one that people want to make a career at once more. This used to be the case, in the not-so-distant past. We wanted to come to an agreement that would reflect those changes and improvements that needed to happen in order to recruit and retain high-quality workers so that Weyerhaeuser can continue to make (and share) record profits. Those profits don’t happen unless the work happens, and the work only happens if our members do it. We may have to take that work away from Weyerhaeuser, in order for them to see us, see our value, see the actual people that make their profits.
President Directing Business Representative
IAMAW District W24
September 22, 2022
The IAMAW District W24 bargaining team, representing over 1100 workers currently on strike, met with Weyerhaeuser today to continue bargaining. We are incredibly disappointed that Weyerhaeuser was unwilling to provide a different offer to our members, than the one our members have already overwhelmingly rejected. There seems to continue to be delays, ineffectiveness, and lack of urgency from this multi-billion-dollar company. The company’s next availability is next Friday, and we hope that Weyerhaeuser will do the right thing. Until then, our members will continue to be on strike, continue to stand up for themselves, continue the fight against corporate greed, and continue to not settle for less.
IAMAW District W24
President Directing Business Rep