BAILEYVILLE, Maine, Oct. 6, 2023 – Approximately 22 Machinists Union members at a northern Maine wood pulp facility will go on strike beginning Sunday, Oct. 15 at 12:01 a.m. ET, followed shortly by 20 Millwrights and 38 oilers and steam and water plant operators, barring a drastic change in a company proposal that would eviscerate the membership’s job security.
Members of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 1490 (District 4), Service Employees International Union Local 330-3 and Millwrights Local 1121 have voted overwhelmingly to reject Woodland Pulp, LLC’s contract offer and to strike for a fair contract.
Company management is attempting to replace millwright, pipefitter, machinists and auto mechanic positions with a general mechanic classification. Membership surveys have made it clear that protecting their core trades is the bargaining unit’s top priority.
The IAM filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the company for refusing to bargain in good faith after Woodland management waited until negotiations were well underway to reveal its concessionary job classification proposal, and then refused to provide satisfactory financial information.
“Our membership is willing to do whatever it takes to protect their jobs and a community that relies on good union jobs at Woodland Pulp,” said IAM District 4 Business Representative Danny Loudermilk. “No one ever wants to strike, but our members are proud of their work and they will stand strong against this blatant attempt to eliminate jobs here in Baileyville.”
IAM District 4, the IAM Eastern Territory and the IAM Woodworkers Department are working collaboratively with other unions at the facility.
“The IAM is providing every resource necessary to obtain a fair contract for our dedicated membership at Woodland Pulp,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “As a native Mainer, I know the vital importance of preserving career pathways for our communities.”
Negotiations began in August 2023.