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Technical Side
Packaging Corporation of America and Union Reach Tentative Contract Agreement
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 25 July 2008 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers Union (USW) and Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) reached a tentative agreement 23 July on a five-year master economic and security umbrella agreement that will cover 1200 workers at mills in Valdosta, Georgia; Counce, Tennessee; Filer City, Michigan; and Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The mill membership will be voting on the package 07 August.

"This agreement lays the foundation for our members' economic security during a time when the paper industry is undergoing massive change because of globalization," said Leo W. Gerard, USW international president . "It also further solidifies the progress we've made in national paper bargaining to improve contracts for our members that also allow paper companies to compete in a world of unfair trade."

Wage and benefit increases, groundbreaking job security, and organizing provisions mark this new umbrella master agreement. Details will not be released until after the members receive the tentative agreement and ratify it.

"In an industry where maintenance capital is the norm, this agreement creates opportunities for innovative capital investment which is the ultimate job security," said Leeann Anderson, USW PCA bargaining chair. "PCA just made a significant investment in cutting-edge green technology to develop a biogas refinery at the Filer City mill. Investments like these are essential to the competitiveness and viability of our mills and the security of our jobs. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with PCA to further preserve our work and run these mills as productively, efficiently and safely as possible."

The master umbrella agreement for the mills paves the way for the USW's discussions with PCA toward an agreement that would be similar in structure for the company's 20-plus USW-represented converting operations.

The USW is the largest manufacturing union in North America, representing more than 850,000 members, including some 130,000 paper workers. PCA is a manufacturer of containerboard and corrugated packaging.

Source: United Steelworkers (USW)


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