Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 02 July 2009 -- /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the members of USW Local 8-675 in Covington, Virginia, have voted in favor of a proposed new contract with MeadWestvaco. The overwhelming ratification vote took place on 01 July 2009.
The new agreement includes USD 2600 in cash bonuses and more than 16% in general wage increases over its six-year term. Improvements to the defined benefit pension plan raise the multiplier to USD 58 per month for each year of service, meaning that an employee who retires with 30 years of service would receive a monthly benefit of roughly USD 1740 per month, a high-water mark in for workers in the paper industry.
Jon Geenen, USW international vice president, the union's top official with responsibility for paper bargaining, said this new agreement will raise the bar for the entire industry. "After two years of strife and division, we believe that this contract, by virtue of the significant gains it establishes, will once again unite the members of Local 8-675," he said. Geenen said that the hard work of the local union negotiating team and the support and solidarity of the loyal USW members are what enabled the USW, the only board-recognized bargaining representative at the Covington mill, to conclude these negotiations so successfully.
The USW represents about 1.2 million active and retired members in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from paper, steel, tire, rubber and other manufacturing environments to the public sector, service, and healthcare industries.