Strike still looms

Strike still looms

There are 27 comments on the Roanoke Times story from Jan 2, 2007, titled Strike still looms. In it, Roanoke Times reports that:

There is no immediate resolution in sight for labor contract disputes between MeadWestvaco officials and union members who work at the international company's paper mill in Covington.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Roanoke Times.

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Eufaula, AL

#21 Nov 7, 2008
People can say it's greed and whatever else you want to call it. Workers only want what is fair. In today's economy people need more to survive. Everyone should know that. Teachers don't make enough money for what they have to endure and neither do the workers at MeadWestvaco at Mahrt. I deserve to be on their payroll for what I have to do as a spouse of an employee. For Pete's sake they work more than the average "Joe" because they want to provide for themselves and their families just any other working person does.
The Truth

Conyers, GA

#22 Nov 9, 2008
If Mead is doing so poorly, then why doesn't the CEO & rest of the upper management, cut their income? Lead by example - I am sure dropping just a mil from the CEO's 3 mil income wouldn't hurt him as much as it would, the blue collar workers. Sure he might have to sell one of his many houses or let some of his servants go or cut back on eating out at the over the top restaurants. How many houses do you think the CEO has? How many cars do you think he has? How many servants do you think he has? How many times does his family go on vacation each year? My family has one house, two cars, no servants & no vacations this past year. There is a major difference in what the blue collar people are fighting for. Ours is survival. MWV, the company, is greed.

Bethlehem, GA

#23 Nov 10, 2008
Most of you are barking up the wrong tree with your comments. I hate it when people use the words "deserve" in sentences.

Just wondering how that vote went on Thursday? Voted down 52% to 48% and no one wants to go on strike. If its that bad, you gave the company your 10 day notice, you were all standing shoulder to shoulder...why arent you out on the picket line walking shoulder to shoulder and not getting a pay check? Because you still think you deserve more then what MWV is offering.

Well I guess the company called your bluff on Thursday night around 11pm huh. Never thought the company would tell you...uh the offer is off the table at midnight based on your 10 day strike notice that will expire. See you on the picket line.

So what did you do...all cried like babies and complained that you had to go back and revote the same contract offer again today ... and I am BETTING MY FIRST BORN that it is accepted overwhelmingly.

If you are so smart and want to complain about John Luke and his salary, benefits, houses, etc...go get a college education and you too can then work your way up or start your own company and run a Fortune 500 company.

If you dont want to do that...go back to making board and quit complaining because the rest of America is sick of hearing from you union workers that are overpaid for what you are doing but all feel like the world OWES you something that you DESERVE.

You dont deserve what you are getting and you should be happy you have what you have.
unknown at mahrt

United States

#24 Nov 10, 2008
hey, great speech company guy. you know so much, then you know that 2 of the locals are the ones who went crying. one local was not even involved in the decision to re-vote and did not participate. its ok you got 2 locals and the USW in your pocket somehow no other explanation. and as for that college education, jjs family is the only reason he is where he is. i could care less what he makes or does if he drives this company in the ground that is his legacy so what. but beside that point, get your facts straight on who did what.

Richmond, VA

#25 Nov 11, 2008
Unknown at Mahrt sorry you are so upset with something your brothers and sisters accepted. Again you are complaining to the wrong people. Run for office in the union, get elected, and take advantage of your fellow union brothers and sisters like your union officials did. Arent the union officials much like management or the executive level of the company. Maybe you should start there and not making comparisons to JJS. He too has worked hard so you can have a job and what you get off his back.
If I have my facts correct:
397 ballots cast in the vote to reject the company offer with it coming off the table?
350 of those were cast to ACCEPT it.
47 of those were cast to REJECT it.
88% acceptance of at least one group speaks volumes to what people really thought...I NEED MY JOB. Maybe the union officials did the best they could and the members still think they are higher then thou and are as GREEDY as you think JJS is.
Congratulations on your new contract and we will see if you still have a union in 5 years when we go through this again.
GOOD WORK and thanks for doing the right thing.
unknown at mahrt

United States

#26 Nov 11, 2008
We sir, agree on something, the usw does not represent the people and have no intention of doing so. this has been apparent throughtout this process. no argument there, however they are the ones that several years ago it was decided to be a part of their big powerful union, no one knew that they would leave the locals high and dry until it was time to negotiate. our mistake and we are paying for it. company officials did there job, no argument there either. people were convinced that if they went out that they would be fired. not true. that they would have no health insurance. not true. you know it is paid in a month in advance and they would have coverage for at least 30 days after that cobra but hopefully it would not have gone that thirty days. personaly they kept harping about the insurance. something i had resolved a while back that we would have to eat that and move on. it was alot of the language changes that were the big issue and, you know that that in itself is what is going to hurt the people the most. everyone who works at mahrt has been paid every week and paid well. no disputing that fact. you do have alot of good workers that have jumped on any task that they have been given and have came in in the middle of the night, on holiday's and have done a damn good job of fixing whats broken and keeping the mill running like it should. at least give them that. yes they got paid extra but give them the proper respect for saying yes and coming in and doing the job. yes there are some people who do nothing extra and could care less if the mill falls to the ground except for the fact that they would not get there 40 hr a week check. you know the ones who always turn a call out down. so we could go back and forth on the issues for a long time but the fact is that like it or not we have a contract and it is time to get back to what is important. next time there probly wont be a usw rep at the table.

Bethlehem, GA

#27 Nov 12, 2008
Unknown at Mahrt,

Two thumbs up to you for at least admiting the facts are the facts and we can both agree on one thing.....

I am well aware of how insurance is advance as I was a manager an out of state operation I saw the premium statement monthly that were then forwarded on for payment. As for the insurance as a WHOLE if it is not exactly the same as most of other facilities it is close, and other unions have fought the same fight and came up with the same result. Doesnt make it right, but its better to have it and pay more then pay the UNGODLY premiums without the company portion (Cobra quotes are RIDICULOUS to say the least).

We both work for the same company and we are all doing what we can to make it profitable. Each of us has a role, and a different position on what we believe in. I respect you folks for what you do and believe me without you making board the facility I work is dead in the water. That does not mean we have to agree but I am your customer and our customer needs to be taken care of and their customer so the end user needs to buy their product. Call it trickle down economics...but thats why we are in provide a product to our customes.

If the Walmarts, Krogers, etc.. dont have product on their shelf to sell to you and I ( the end user) then they dont need us and we dont need the mills and we are all unemployed.

You are the first person to admit mistakes were made by persons in the union, lessons learned, and that you have a contract for 5 years and a job and the security that in this turbulent economy we are all happy to have.

Thanks for making the right decision for yourselves and the company...we all know NO ONE WINS IN A STRIKE and in the end it ultimately COSTS EVERYONE MONEY.

Finally if no one else in the company has said THANK YOU for coming in on holidays, in the middle of the night, on weekends, kids birthdays, anniversarys, etc... LET ME BE THE FIRST TO SAY THANK YOU and it is sad that managers at the mill have not said thank you...that is wrong and should be addressed.

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