Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Local 49 Pulp Mill Workers last act of Benevolence.

The Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 49 had a long history of donating to causes such as Relay for life, little league and others, so it was no surprise that the former Pulp Mill workers agreed with my suggestion to donate the last of our locals dollars to Humboldt charities. I put out a list of 8 charities that would garner a donation of $500 each and then went back and forth over the list. Here are the local agencies that I wrote checks to. I think these are very worthy ones for you to consider donating to if you have extra cash.

Food for People
The Humboldt All Faith Partnership
Humboldt Area Foundation
Humboldt Domestic Violence Services
Humboldt Senior Resource Center
American Cancer Society
Betty Chin/St Vincent de Paul Homeless Fun
Hospice of Humboldt

So that pretty much does it for Local 49. It has been an honor to serve as President and I have been so fortunate to have worked with so many great people at the Pulp Mill.


skippy said...

This is a nice list. Thank you Local 49 for your 'last act of benevolence'. We have volunteered for 3 of the organizations and they were outstanding in every way.

Anonymous said...

Richard, do you ever connect your union activity to the demise of the pulp mill? Does the thought ever cross you mind that if you hadn't been so greedy, that maybe the pulp mill would still be here and younger people would have access to some sort of job albeit at a lesser pay than you gouged out of the mill over the last few years...

Would you do anything differently?

samoasoftball said...

As a union, we took all concessions that Evergreen asked for to stay open. They just didn't have the intentions of doing business here anymore.

In hindsight, I would have pushed harder to create a Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) that was presentable to the workers. I tried to tap into the Headwaters funds with little help from the county, but I did have lawyers and bankers lined up to help, but the workers just didn't want to hear about sacrificing $3 an hour for their share. Probably would now. But it is too late.

Stephen said...

It's too bad you pulp workers never took our Heartlands Project seriously because if anyone had funded a China trade mission when we were negotiating with Evergreen Pulp and after they pulled out, that pulp mill might be going today. We know the Chinese themselves were interested even if Evergreen ran into a solid enviro lawsuit wall here and pulled out. Even now I know Sparky and I could get China banks interested in an employee-owned newly structured pulp mill but we have no backing. Sparky's tribe is totally blind to anything but their casino operation so there's no help there. We had new pulp products to add to the incentive to invest which could create more local employment. And really, if the community that creates pulp that cardboard boxes are made of that we all use, that's just another place where environmental protection is shooting itself in the foot and avoiding responsibility for the way pulp mills are run and cardboard boxes are being made under far less regulation.

Anonymous said...

Stephen: You never brought this up while I was President of Local 49. I would have let you speak to the members and go from there. But this is now hindsight. I appreciate your involvement with the Palco situation and wish you had better luck.

Stephen said...

I've posted the Heartlands Project aims here on the pulp union's representative's blog before and like now someone suggests contacting the union but why when they showed no interest in contacting us? We couldn't and wouldn't go chasing after pulp workers to support us if they didn't see the advantage of doing so. You have no idea of the walls and apathy we've met trying to get tribal members and Palco workers
to support our efforts in their behalf. We just didn't have the energy to try to convince pulp mill workers when they've never once shown any interest as a group in what we were trying to do. Richard showed a little interest but not enough to contact us or tell any others in his union about what we were doing. We've been here all this time and the Heartlands Project's aim of establishing Chinese financing for a local worker owned and managed Palco timber company managing Palco worker and tribally owned timber lands working in conjunction with a worker owned and managed pulp mill is still something the Chinese banks might be interested in. The Heartlands lottery system as the major economic engine to pay back the Chinese with diversified timber products and pulp products secondary was the main draw for Chinese interest in working directly with a NA tribe (Sparky representing Bear River) and redwood timber company workers (me representing a new worker owned Palco Community Corporation. structure). But the work of enviros and Progs to shut down all major anchor industries in Humboldt County so yuppie lifestyle Prog activists won't suffer the political desires and needs of workers and poor people in Humboldt County has taken its toll on everyone's willingness to go against the anti-community pro media anti-corporate political tide rolling over Humboldt County like a tule fog without end.