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Collins Pine mill employees closer to walking out

Kate M. West
Staff Writer
10/17/2012

“Well, I’m getting the posters and the stakes ready.  I expect to get the Collins Pine Company’s last and final proposal today. We’ll see then,” Mike Wood, Local 3074 union representative said Wednesday. 

Wood was responding to a rumor that the workers had already gone out on strike. 

He didn’t mince words when he said the union members are getting prepared for a strike. 

 

“We probably will strike,” Wood said. “I say ‘probably’ because it depends on what is in the company’s last and final proposal. 

“There are still quite a few issues pending; insurance, pension and wages are usually the three big things,” he said. 

As of 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, Wood said he was “cautiously optimistic that the two sides would come together.” 

He was also quite clear that no strike was possible until after the company gives its final offer.  

He also said that despite the fact that no one really wants a strike to occur, the union members remain very resolute about their willingness to follow through with their Sept. 19 strike vote. 

“We have to explore all the avenues,” Wood said. “Negotiations have been ongoing since the middle of May.  It’s six months later and we are still working on it.  There was a lot of ground to cover and we were working on it from different points.  There has been a lot of discussion and we are certainly not flying off the handle.”  

The members of Local 3074 will be meeting Monday, Oct. 22, to review the last and final offer as presented by the Collins Pine Company. 

When asked what actions might come out of Monday’s meeting, Wood said, “The option to return to the negotiating table is pretty minimal. We’ve already boiled it down to the essence of things.” 

He did, however, emphasize that even in the event of a walk out. communication is key. 

“Even after a strike the communication must continue so people can go back to work,” Wood said. “There are always concessions on both sides—everything depends on the final offer.”

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