After more than two years of negotiations between Clearwater Paper Corp. and hundreds of union employees who were at odds over wages and medical benefits, an agreement on a new contract was ratified that will continue through August 2025.
Shannon Myers, senior director of corporate communications for Clearwater Paper Corp., said the agreement was voted on Monday and Tuesday and finally ratified by union members Tuesday night.
The negotiations had stalled in the fall and resumed in December, when a tentative agreement was reached between the company and the United Steelworkers and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Lewiston. The contract with the union represents about 870 of the mill’s nearly 1,200 employees, Myers said.
In a prepared statement, Steve Bowden, senior vice president and general manager of the pulp and paperboard division of Clearwater Paper, said the company was pleased to have come to terms with the union employees.
“Thank you to our employees and managers for their unwavering commitment to working safely and meeting our commitments, both internally and externally during the negotiations process,” Bowden said. “We will continue to focus on delivering on our customers’ expectations and supporting their success.”
Mark Rhodes, who represents the union members, said the union’s bargaining committee “worked tirelessly to overcome” issues related to the cost of health care “and countless others for two and a half years to bring forward an offer for a vote with a recommendation from the committees.”
“This ... collective bargaining agreement will also assist in bringing stability to the Clearwater Paper’s Lewiston site,” Rhodes said.
Myers said the new contract goes into effect immediately. The previous contract ran from September 2014 to August 2017, and employees have been covered by the terms of the old contract throughout the negotiations process, she said.
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