Union Rejects Weyerhaeuser Proposal
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Union members representing more than 7,000 loggers and millworkers on strike for three weeks against Weyerhaeuser Co. rejected a contract offer that would have cut wages and benefits more than $4 an hour, union officials said Monday.
Members of the western councils of the International Woodworkers of America and the Lumber, Production and Industrial Workers voted 3,772 to 939 to reject the proposed contract, said IWA spokesman Oliver McMillan.
The old contract expired June 1, and about 7,500 workers went on strike June 16.
Contracts covering about 23,000 workers at four other companies also expired June 1, but those workers remained on the job as negotiations continued.
Union officials negotiating with Weyerhauser agreed on June 27 to send the proposed contract to the membership for a ratification vote. Weyerhaeuser said the offer would include the wage and benefit rollbacks, but also would include profit-sharing provisions.
James Bledsoe, executive secretary of the LPIW’s Western Council and Vernon ″Red″ Russell, president of the IWA’s Western Regional Council No. 3, would not comment on the results of the vote that began last week.
McMillan said no meetings were scheduled with Weyerhaeuser officials.
″We’re extremely disappointed in the outcome of the vote,″ said Charles W. Bingham, a Weyerhaeuser vice president in Tacoma, Wash. ″We will not comment on our next steps.″
Bingham said the vote ″does not alter the fundamental market pressures that require us to have competitive labor costs in order to operate at present levels in the Northwest.″