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Mon, Oct 21, 2019 17:02
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Management Side
Weyerhaeuser employees reject contract offer, but talks continue

LONGVIEW, Washington (From news reports) -- Weyerhaeuser Co. woodworkers in Washington and Oregon voted overwhelmingly last week to reject the latest contract offer from the company, but labor talks are still continuing, according to a union source.

About 1,200 Weyerhaeuser employees with the International Aerospace and Machinist/Woodworkers Local District W24 voted throughout the week, and the final vote was tallied on Saturday.

Union members rejected the offer by a wide margin, said the source, who spoke anonymously due to the ongoing nature of the negotiations.

After three months of talks, the union -- which includes about 400 workers at the Weyerhaeuser log dock and sawmill in Longview -- also voted overwhelmingly last month to give negotiators strike authority.

But no strike is planned, and the two sides are still in contact, even though the company's latest proposed contract was described on July 13 as the its "last, best and final" offer.

Another meeting date has not been scheduled, and no deadline has been set for a strike.

A spokesman for Weyerhaesuer was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon.

The two sides have been bargaining for three months over Weyerhaeuser's annual logging commitment levels. Commitment levels dictate the volume of trees the company is willing to commit to harvesting per year using union logging crews.

Weyerhaeuser has gradually scaled back its company-run logging crews over the past three decades in favor of independent contract loggers.

Negotiators are also bargaining over health care benefits, pension contributions, wages, vacation and mandatory overtime at the company's mills.

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