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Unions continue to negotiate with Graphic Packaging facility in Texas

DOMINO, Texas (From news reports) -- Local United Steel Worker unions are continuing to negotiate with Graphic Packaging Paper Co. over a contract that expired in April.

Local USW unions 1148 and 1149 voted in favor of a strike on June 15 if negotiations fail or stall. Strike is no longer imminent as the Union's bargaining committee feels that strategically they are in a more comfortable position, according to a letter provided by the bargaining committee.

"This has always been the goal of the bargaining committee and the membership," the letter states. "This will mean that we will continue to provide labor while negotiating a fair contract for you and your family."

Six bargaining dates are scheduled and four more are possible for the fair contract, according to the letter. The committee will reevaluate after the bargaining dates.

The unions want to negotiate over pensions, health insurance and the two-tier pay system.

"We believe we are well on our way to getting significant movement on the two-tier pay," the letter states.

The two-tier system is a type of payroll system in which one group of workers receives lower wages than another.

Union members also have not received an inflation raise while the company has gone up about 30% on their products to customers, according to union members.

The unions plan to continue with informational pickets and will be in front of Union Hall before and after each shift change until the issue is settled, according to the letter.

There are more than 400 members of the local union working with Graphic Packaging.

A spokesperson for Graphic Packaging could not be reached for comment.

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