First phase of new G-P plant is 'rat'

WESTPORT - The first phase of a $200 million paper machine expansion project by Georgia-Pacific at its Wauna plant in Clatsop County has been awarded to an out-of-state, non-union subcontractor that is on the Unfair List of the Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council.

Tapani Underground Inc. of Battle Ground, Wash., will perform underground work, reported Wally Mehrens, executive secretary-treasurer of the building trades council.

Building trades locals rallied in Westport Sept. 14 at the union headquarters of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Local 8-1097 to send a message to G-P encouraging the company to employ area construction workers on the project, which will receive large tax breaks from the state as an enterprise zone.

About 850 employees at the existing paper mill that makes Brawny paper towels are members of 8-1097 and the 110 new workers also will become members of that union.

Atlanta-based G-P is serving as its own general contractor on the project.

Mehrens said underground work is only the first of many phases on the project, and that the council will continue working toward seeing that the construction is done with union labor.

October 18, 2002 issue

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