Saturday, January 06, 2007
Union Yes! LP workers vote for union 1999!
In 1999 I directed a successful union organizing drive at the Chip Export Yard owned by Louisiana Pacific at Samoa. There were 8 full time employees and 14 part-time workers. The Times Standard did a front page story of the worker rally/Demonstration at the facility. Local unions and organizations that participated in the rally were: United Brotherhood of Carpenters local 751, Longshoremen local 14, Plumbers and Steamfitters local 290, Plasters and Cement Masons local 355, AWPPW local 49 and the Redwood Peace Alliance. Local people of note that helped with the rally were, Dave Meserve, Betsy Roberts, Marianne Hassler, Gerald Cawvey, David Dees, Karen Briggs, John Cumming, Sid Berg, Doc Holiday and Charles Olivier. The workers actualized huge raises, grievance procedure, better health insurance and pension. They gradually were integrated into AWPPW local 49 and are union workers to this day. It may have been the last successful manufacturing union organizing drive in Humboldt County. I tried to organize the Louisiana Pacific Particleboard Plant in Arcata but could not seem to get them over the top. They lost an election by one vote in 1998. When Louisiana Pacific sold the mill to Hambro, all the 100 or so workers were fired and then re-hired by Hambro with no seniority and huge loss in wages. If they were union when the plant sold they may have had a security clause that would have saved their wages and benefits. Just shows you what a union can do for workers! The average manufacturing workers makes 30% more in wages and benefits than non-union workers in the United States. Maybe it is time for your place to be union?