Labor Day Picnic: A time for village thoughtfulness after strike
September 8, 2015 - Picnic Time
CASTLE ROCK — Shawn Nyman pronounced she had always listened Longview was a labor-friendly town. But it wasn’t until a new KapStone strike that she indeed witnessed a strength of labor support firsthand.
“It was eye-opening. … People incited out, people showed up, people weren’t fearful to put signs in windows,” pronounced Nyman, boss of Cowlitz Wahkiakum Central Labor Council and Service Employees International Union Local 925 organizer.
Nyman assimilated area kinship members, politicians, village members and their families for a Labor Day Picnic Monday during Toutle River R.V. Park in Castle Rock. It was a impulse for kinship members to relax, bond and simulate on a miracle in Longview labor story with a execution of a nine-day strike opposite KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp.
The smell of barbecuing hamburgers and hotdogs filled a atmosphere as people chowed down on sleet cones and coleslaw to a balance of live classical stone covers. Sunshine poured down on kids floating froth and families personification croquet.
“Today is a day that we all needed, to relax and say, we’re all here for one another,” Nyman said, smiling.
Bob Leigh, eventuality organizer and labor legislature house member, pronounced a legislature initial regenerated a annual cruise about 4 years ago, after a extensive hiatus, as a approach to build community. That clarity of village lent KapStone workers support in their new strike.
“There’s strength in numbers. It wasn’t only one internal out there (on a picket line),” pronounced Leigh, 60, a lead user during Emerald Kalama Chemical and member of International Chemical Workers Union Local 747.
Leigh remarkable how one union’s onslaught could impact even non-unionized workers.
“If you’re non-union and we work right subsequent to you, my salary impact your wages, too,” he said.
The sputter effects of kinship workers’ struggles weren’t mislaid on Mike Phillips either. The late Vancouver firefighter and Kalama proprietor pronounced he believed KapStone jobs are mostly “viewed as privileged” and aloft profitable than other jobs in a area.
“If (the association is) means to darken their work or their contract, it’s going to drip down” elsewhere in a community, pronounced Phillips, 63.
Retired clergyman Carrie Potts of Kalama argues that those workers’ salaries will impact spending during internal businesses. Potts also lamented a detriment of tangible pensions for indent workers in prior contracts underneath Longview Fibre Co., a trend function via a country.
“So many of us late now have tangible pensions,” pronounced Potts, 68. “We’re not exposed to a ups and downs of a batch market.”
Potts, who spent many of her training career in Minnesota, argued that many people now “don’t comprehend a significance of station together,” nonetheless she believes Cowlitz County seems some-more bargain of unions.
As members of Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 153 lapse to work this week, Nyman emphasized a significance of solidarity.
“The labor village is energized,” Nyman observed. “The village might not know each shade of (Local 153’s) debate or strategy, though labor only needs to be there for labor, operative families only needs to be there for operative families.”