Aug 3, 2023 | By: Justin Othoudt

Teamsters Respond to Recent UPM Blandin Negotiations as Strike Continues in Grand Rapids

Earlier this week, workers from the Blandin Paper Company in Grand Rapids made the decision to continue their strike after refusing an offer given during the latest negotiations.

According to a statement released by UPM Blandin, negotiations were held Wednesday between the company and Teamsters Local 346 members wherein a revised multi-year offer was proposed.

Members of the union reportedly declined the offer as they feel core demands were not met in this offer, namely the union’s primary focus on the current two-tier wage system.

“The employer made an offer that didn’t address any of the core concerns of the union group here. So it just didn’t get anywhere,” said Teamsters Local 346 President Jeff Oveson. “They did make an offer that moved some economics around, but still, they continue to not listen to the members here and not address their core concerns.”

Oveson continued, “It’s vital that they address this two-tier system. Every employee here deserves to be treated with the same level of respect, the labor market right now does not call for a two-tier system. We demand that they address that.”

The union stated during the meeting, more bargaining dates had been scheduled for August 8th, 9th, and 10th. They also said that federal mediation has been contacted throughout the strike.

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