District Lodge W24 had a busy start this year, preparing for several Woods products contract re-openers.
Bargaining had been underway at Weyerhaeuser in Oregon and Washington over the summer months. These negotiations proved difficult and at times tenuous as the crews held a 90 percent strike vote. They then voted on a third proposal and on August 2, the votes were tallied and 635 approved and 282 rejected the contract which resulted in a 69 percent ratification.
The major points of contention between the IAM and Weyerhaeuser were rising costs to fund health care, contribution retirement plans for new hires and the company’s reduced harvest levels over the next 4 years which directly displaced members to other jobs outside of logging. In the end, over 40 percent of the membership were provided significant job classification bracket adjustments and all members earned and will receive on average a 16 percent wage increase over the four-year term—which will provide our members with Industry leading wages.
The negotiations were completely transparent with continual communications between the negotiating team and the membership. The Negotiating Committee provided leadership and guidance throughout the process. Members of the team were: DLW24 P/DBR Noel Willet, LL W536 PR Kelly Zink, LL W130 PR Jon Irvine, LL W246 PR Tom Thede, DL W24 Business Representatives Brandon Bryant and Wayne Thompson. In a message to the membership P/DBR Willet said with respect and solidarity, “most of all, I want to thank you, the members for your strength and support as we move forward.”