Weyerhaeuser strike ends, new agreement reached

(Photo: IAM)

After six weeks, the woodworkers of Weyerhaeuser ended their strike and returned to work on 30 October after reaching a new agreement with the company.

The agreement features the largest wage increases the woodworkers have reportedly seen in a four-year deal. It also includes a better shift differential, and fewer cuts than what the company was originally offering.

Strong caps on what employees’ healthcare costs will be, with no increases over the course of the contract, were also covered by the agreement.

In a solidarity rally a day before the agreement was forged, IAM District W24 Directing Business Representative Brandon Bryant, IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen, and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler all praised the courage, strength and unity of the striking workers.

“A lot of our members have taken on additional roles that they’ve never had to do before,” said Bryant. “Being strike captains, making strike signs, spending time on the line. They’ve been helping organise strike check distribution. We’ve never had to do this before; it’s been 36 years since we’ve had to go out on strike. Our members stepped up and made this strike as strong as it can be.”

“We think it’s the best that we can get at this time, and we only got the best that we can get this time because of the strength of our members and what they did and holding the company accountable.”

BWI was one of the first global organisations that expressed its support to the striking workers. “BWI is one with the workers as they push back their company's attempts to cut their vacation time and increase the cost of their health insurance amidst a meagre increase in wages. In every walkout protest and solidarity picket action, BWI stands with the Weyerhaeuser workers.”