Aug 12, 2023 | By: Lakeland News

Blandin Paper Strike Ends After Union Ratifies New Contract Agreement

UPM Blandin Paper in Grand Rapids and Teamsters Local 346 have reached an agreement to end a strike that lasted almost three weeks.

Union members ratified this new agreement Friday afternoon. As a result, the ongoing strike has ended immediately and the agreed upon return-to-work process will begin.

According to Blandin, the contract provides employees with industry competitive pay and benefits. The three-year agreement includes year over year wage increases and year over year increases to shift differential. It also provides benefit enhancements in areas including paid time off and health savings account contributions.

The previous contract expired June 30, and 166 employees represented by Teamsters Local 346 went on strike on July 15.

UPM Blandin general manager Scott Juidici said in a statement that the agreement helps position the mill for the future and that he is looking forward to “restarting operations in a safe and efficient manner.”

Jeff Oveson, the president of Teamsters Local 346, tells Lakeland News that members narrowly accepted the offer. He says no one wins in a strike, but they feel like they “did well.”

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