Graphic Packaging lockout continues

Related tags Graphic packaging Labour relations

Some 400 Graphic Packaging workers in Michigan, US, remain locked
out after negotiations with the Union collapsed.

The Paper, Allied- Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union has reported little progress in ending the one-month lockout of over 400 union members in Kalamazoo, Michigan, by Graphic Packaging Company.

A federal mediator broke off negotiations at the end of last week after no progress was made.

"We were hopeful that meaningful compromises could be made, but the company showed almost no movement in their position,"​ said PACE Region Nine vice president Bill Gibbons.

There are several issues in which there is disagreement, but no issue separates the two parties more than the company requirement to force employees to work excessive overtime and holidays.

"We have families and religious beliefs that require our time on our days off, including Sundays,"​ said Jeff Haynes, president of the local PACE organisation.

PACE offered several compromises to address the issue of excessive mandatory overtime, which the company rejected.

PACE is preparing a campaign in support of the locked out workers affected by Graphic Packaging's actions. Two weeks ago PACE mobilised protests at unionised Graphic Packaging plants throughout the country.

The Coors family of Colorado closely holds Graphic Packaging. In the 1980's, the family and its beer were targets of a major labour-based campaign.

"The company appears to be more interested in destroying years of good labour relations in Kalamazoo than in reaching a meaningful agreement,"​ said PACE Region Nine Representative Dan Ferson.

PACE International Union, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, represents over 320,000 workers in the paper, packaging, oil, chemical, nuclear, pharmaceutical, auto supply, kaolin, small appliance and corning milling industries.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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