IP employees ratify new contract

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2004

International Paper’s Riverdale Mill and the mill’s union representatives have ratified a contract increasing benefits and wages for 725 employees, said a company press release.

According to Pam Frasier, spokesperson for IP, the contract was completed in May, but employees ratified it only recently.

“We started negotiations back in the fall,” Frasier said.

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Frasier also said negotiations were halted during the holidays and two major mill shutdowns. IP’s Riverdale Mill shuts down periodically to maintain equipment at the plant

According to a press release issued by IP, the contract won’t be up for renegotiation until 2008, when it expires.

Three local unions represent production and maintenance workers at the Selma IP Riverdale Mill: the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Locals 1441 and 1444 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2362.

Attempts to contact representatives from any of the unions were unsuccessful.

The contract, according to company manager Ray Thomas, increases pay and benefits for Riverdale Mill employees.

“We are pleased that employees have voted to ratify the contract, which includes improvements in wages and competitive benefits,” Thomas said. “This contract…positions our mill to continue operating successfully in today’s challenging global marketplace.”

Frasier said the company was pleased to finish with negotiations.

“It’s good to have that behind us,” she said. “It lets us get on with business.”

International Paper is the world’s largest paper and forest products company. Businesses include paper, packaging, and forest products. As one of the largest private forest landowners in the world, the company manages its forests under the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFIsm ) program, a system that ensures the perpetual planting, growing and harvesting of trees while protecting wildlife, plants, soil, air and water quality.

Headquartered in the United States, at Stamford, Conn., International Paper has operations in nearly 50 countries and exports its products to more than 130 nations.