Nippon, union at odds; Port Angeles paper mill continues operation

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Nippon Paper Industries USA implemented a labor contract with about 130 members of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 155 without union approval, company and union officials said.

They said workers remained on the job Monday at the plant, which produces paper for telephone books and newspapers, including the Peninsula Daily News.

Plant manager Harold Norlund said the union was warned two months ago that if an agreement was not reached, Nippon would implement it on its own.

“We've been bargaining for 22 months,” he said.

“We believe we've complied with all of the required notices and have continued to bargain in good faith thorough all of these negotiations.”

But the company's action will prompt the union, which already has filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, will now file an amended complaint, Local 155 area representative John Minor said.

The amended complaint will be filed today or Tuesday.

“The company has been totally intransigent in their position,” Minor said. “They have refused to bargain in good faith.

“They've given the union a series of ultimatums throughout the course of this.”

Minor said he expects the complaint will be ruled on by mid-April.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 18. 2013 12:16PM
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