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Weyerhaeuser employees picket outside company headquarters

SEATTLE (From news reports) -- Weyerhaeuser employees picketed outside the company's headquarters on Thursday.

The company and union are scheduled to meet for a third time on Friday.

One employee groused that he's disappointed with how negotiations have been going and would like to see the company be more appreciative of its workers.

The last contract expired May 31 and the union has been in negotiations ever since.

More than 1,100 employees from 14 different locations in Washington and Oregon have been on strike since Sept. 13.

Union officials say the workers overwhelmingly rejected the last contract offer on Sept. 2 and say the company has only agreed to meet twice for negotiations.

Jason Williams, an employee who has been with the company for 30 years, and is also the president of the bargaining team, called the offer upsetting.

"It was almost an embarrassment to bring that back to the members to vote, a very strong number voted (it) down and we showed our numbers in strength," said Williams.

The union also said general wage increases were too low, vacation time was cut, employees were asked to pay for health care premiums for the first time since the 1990s, and retirement benefits weren't improved.

The last time Weyerhaeuser employees went on a strike was in 1986.

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