Think hard about this.

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#1 Oct 29, 2008
I think you're all crazy! Meadwestvaco has been good to everyone of their employees. If you want to go on strike then go. You need to think of your familys. Mead has great Insurance, and everyone knows the pay is good. Their not going to give in to what you guys are fighting for. All that's going to happen is you are all going to loose your jobs and have to sell the nice houses and cars you all have. Like one person said. You guys drive around in the $50 and $60 thousand dollar cars, suv's, you name it. Then to the ones with children, you will have to wonder how you are going to be able to continue supporting them. What's going to happen when they get sick. No insurance, no treatment most of the time. If they do treat you, you can hang it up for samples. They will give you the most expensive medicine they can think of. Why? Because they know you are going to have to buy it anyway because that's your child. Better stay with what you have. Having something is better than having nothing!

United States

#2 Oct 29, 2008
to (unknown) you work where? Mead was a good company to work for. now it is aptly put by another member greedwestvaco. they are taking the wonderful health care benefit you speak of and changing the coverage to astronomical figure's of out of pocket expenses and lowering the coverage amount. it is our families that we are thinking of. it is the future we are thinking of. You stay on the side of the fence that you are on, we will stand together. everything is going up and you would have us not get a yearly increase in wages to offset the cost of living increase. this company is making good product and along with that goes profit enough for the ceo to give himself a 10% raise which comes to over 8 mil/year. they just bought more property, just made a new position for a president of the healthcare division. we are not asking for anything ridiculous just fair.

Conyers, GA

#3 Oct 30, 2008
Mead was a good company until they merged with Westvaco. If current contract is accepted, the union workers will make less money than they currently make by the time you take health insurance into consideration. The company made $54 Million last quarter - does that sound like they are in bad shape? The workers do work than most people cannot handle. Since my husband has been working @ Mead, I have seen so many people who cannot make it through the 90 days b/c of the pressures on them. It is extreme temperatures and tough on your body and some folks just don't want to deal with rotating shifts. The work in the paper mill makes the insurance a necessary evil. Many of the employees are in poor shape by the time they retire and with what the company has to offer, they might as well go live under a bridge. Westvaco only cares about the bottom line and not the workers who provide them with their income. If it comes down to a strike, I hope all 3 plants that are currently in negotiations are willing to strike together.

United States

#4 Oct 30, 2008
Ok, I can see what you are talking about, but.... do you really think they are going to give in? You might have to pay more out of the pocket for the insurance, but at least you have some. I will stay on my side of the fence because my husband works there also. At least I know we will still have income coming in and insurance. There's nothing else around here that will even begin to pay you what you are making now. You might find some better insurance with another company, but the pay will be terrible. I wish you all the best.

United States

#5 Oct 31, 2008
I understand your position. I hope your husband is not near the age of retierment, the company is trying to get the contract to where a person who retires has to pay 80% of their insurance. which will take almost all of the retirment pay. they are trying to blame the economy but this week bought property they sold for 20 million and bought it back for 40 million. what does this say about their concerns for the economy? they just put a new president position up for healthcare who knows what his salary and options will be. this is not just about health care. it is about retierment, job security, contract language they are trying to rip to shreds. this has been going on for over a year do you really think that there is no merit for it when it involves 2 seperate locations that are in negotiations and a third that has recently begun their negotiation process. thanks for the well wishes it is appreciated. we will keep standing.

Richmond, VA

#6 Nov 3, 2008
I have seen this before in another division of MWV that I worked in. The employees worked for 18 months with the expired contract, no raises, the same insurance costs, and after all was said and done, they chose NOT TO STRIKE. What they were looking for did not offset what they stood to lose by going out on strike for even a week.

The mills can go out on strike for a month and all that will do is help the company improve its bottom line by reducing inventories on hand (which is needed at years end) and then be in a position to eliminate hundreds of senseless jobs down at the mill, that have been allowed to continue for years.

You will see that the company is standing firm by its position. Look at the company stock and what it has done in the last 4 weeks. The company value has been slashed in half, and you want more money, better benefits, insurance rates to go down, etc... look around and ask yourself...Where can I go to get better pay, similar benefits, a fully funded pension, 401K, the area you live in GOOD LUCK.

Go ahead and go on strike and see what happens. Be careful of what you wish for going into the holiday season, as I dont want to hear you whining that you cant make your bills, and have a nice Christmas, etc... you will have done it to yourself....and I have no sympathy for you.
DMP unionmember

Richmond, VA

#7 Nov 3, 2008
Again, I am here in Evadale and what you apparently don't understand "Unknown" is that we 3 milss made the $245 mil of the PRG's $280 mil what will MWV do with all 3 walking out??? As far as who is making what...check out CEO John Luke's salary and ask yourself why he was begging everyone to call their congressman to vote for the's so all these CEO's can keep their millions instead of investing back into their factories and employees that got them those huge salaries.Everyone out there gives unions a bad wrap, but all we want is fair wages, retirement, and healthcare for all of our can you compensate for the possible gas prices rising again if we "make enough money" along with the cost of living skyrocketing...I guarantee you our wages haven't come near the increase in cost of living over the past few years, while all the CEO's sit up there and pocket it all then tell you we have to shut down a plant due to costs...then open a new one in China

Fort Stockton, TX

#8 Nov 6, 2008
Good post DMP,
We here in Covington support both of our sister mills in AL and TX. We are tired of giving back every contract and just want to keep what we have. How fed up are we with Greed Westvaco, the curtin is just about ready to fall.

The fat has always been in the overhead. That is why when we sold our fine paper mills and kept the overhead, they all of a sudden started making money. We sold over half our paper mills and kept all the corperate support, great decesion! The fat needs to be trimmed at the top, quit trying to squeese the hourly men and women who make this company what it is today!!

Eufaula, AL

#9 Nov 7, 2008
My husband works his tail off for a company that could care less about him. They don't care when he goes in sick or his child is sick at home, they don't care that it's a holiday or a child's birthday, they don't care if you need to take care of business--as long as MeadWestvaco can make money they are fine. Corporate seems to remember the lowly mill workers are what makes the big bucks for them. I like to see some of them work the long hours in extreme conditions! The union is asking for what is fair.

Eufaula, AL

#10 Nov 8, 2008
Let me see if I understand. Your husband works for a company and gets well compensated for that. But you are upset that they won't let him off so that he can attend a birthday party? A holiday? Don't they get triple time for holidays? Of course MeadWestvaco wants to make money. Isn't that what all companies want? If the union doesn't like what the company offers, they can always go to another company. That's the beauty of being an American worker. I would suggest your husband go to work his tail off for a company who will allow him to get off for a birthday, holiday, ect. Keep us posted on the company he goes to work for. We'd all like that kind of work.

Covington, VA

#11 Nov 8, 2008
I realize that it is hard for you people that don't work in the factories to realize what these people are fighting for. You should realize however that the struggles going on today are not the same as they were in the past.

Today the struggle is to maintain the wages, benefits, and working conditions that were earned in the past. The ones of you that are not Union and want to snub your noses are union workers; whether you want to admit it or not; the wages, benefits, and working conditions that you have are the result of unions, either directly or indirectly. Directly because men and women stood up to companies and opened the eyes of the politicians to pass laws and regulations protecting you. Indirectly because there are some companies that treat their employees well, so they will not organize. MeadWestvaco is not one of these companies.

I started out working for Westvaco in 1975 and have been there ever since except for a 5 year military leave of absence. Those of you that run your independent businesses, I can spend more in your shops and stores if I make a wage that allows me to provide for my familiy will a little left over to "treat" myself and my family. If I buy more, then do you not earn more. Trickle down economics do not work because the wealthy do not keep their money into circulation, where as, the working class do.

Labor, especially organized labor is the back bone of this country and maybe that is the reason that this country is in the shape it is in, the back bone is being neglected. If organized labor does not fight to keep what has been earned in the past, who will? You , the ones that have not walked in our shoes but feel it is OK for us to go bare footed. When the working class dwindle, so do communities, but the exec's with their
"Golden Parachutes" continue on.

I am glad to know that there are still people in this counry with enough grit to stand up for what they believe and not give in without a fight. These are the type of people that helped to form this nation and when enough are willing to give up rather than fight, then our industries and our nation will be in ruin.

Instead of critizing these people you should be honoring them and supporting them because their fate is also the fate of this nation. If they prosper, the nation prospeers, if they fall, the nation falls!

United States

#12 Nov 10, 2008
Well, today is the big day. It will be decided today whether or not you guys are going to strike. I hear a lot of people are changing their minds, due to not understanding the Contract in its entirely. Do you guys think that everyone is ready to stop now and go back to work? I really hope they are. To those who continue to stand their ground, all I can say is stand up for what you believe in. Good Luck to all.

Eufaula, AL

#13 Nov 10, 2008
Yep, it's official. Going back to work - no strike.

Bethlehem, GA

#14 Nov 10, 2008
HHHMMMM...GO FIGURE. The union workers didnt understand the contract entirely. Isnt that what the international and local representative and officials are elected to do...EDUCATE the uninformed.

Why would you accept a contract that you rejected only 4 days ago? Someone please explain it to the non union informed people? Come gotta be kidding voted to accept the same contract you rejected? Someone say it aint so.

Way to go? Way to show your SOLIDARITY. Why to show the company? All that ranting and raving about being treated FAIR and getting what you DESERVED.

You got more then you quit complaining and go back to making board as way overpaid employees.

Oh and if you are not happy with the company and your union brother and sisters for accepting the contract..... GO IN AND RESIGN YOUR POSITION there are thousands of people looking to take your job at the mills.

You had a choice and you chose to ACCEPT the you have no one to blame but yourselves at this point....


Fort Stockton, TX

#15 Nov 10, 2008
There was no backing from the USW International. These members were betrayed by an Internaional that does not care what kind of contract you sign because they do not work under it. Just sigh and keep those dues rolling in is there attitudes. All the while they get pay raises by there reps of 50- 100 percent and healthcare paid for in full the rest of there lives after they retire. And also an international rep get 80 percent of what they made working when retired!!
The fleecing of the working people by the ones paid to protect them.
I'm union all the way, but not the way this union conducts business!!!

Phenix City, AL

#16 Nov 19, 2008
If the conditions are so terrible and the company is so unfeeling go to another place to get a job. The ones that care surely won't be paying $30 an hour, with nearly the benefits. Or is it greed that keeps your spouse working when he's sick or the children are sick, and on holidays. I don't work through those situations because I am satisfied with a lower wage without sacrificing time with my family. I guess my priorities are different - family then wealth.
MahrtSpouse wrote:
My husband works his tail off for a company that could care less about him. They don't care when he goes in sick or his child is sick at home, they don't care that it's a holiday or a child's birthday, they don't care if you need to take care of business--as long as MeadWestvaco can make money they are fine. Corporate seems to remember the lowly mill workers are what makes the big bucks for them. I like to see some of them work the long hours in extreme conditions! The union is asking for what is fair.

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