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International Paper Workers on Strike
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Delaware, Ohio, USA 10 May 2016 -- (From The Columbus Dispatch) -- Workers at International Paper in Delaware are on strike following a year of unsuccessful negotiations with the company.

The strike by members of Teamsters Local 284 covers about 130 employees of the plant that makes components for corrugated boxes. The employees have been in talks with the company for about a year and have been working without a contract since June.

Employees say their main concern is about overtime policies that allow little choice but to work far in excess of full-time hours.

"These folks don't want to work their life away, up to 84 hours per week," said Don Mann, a Teamsters staff member who is acting as spokesman for the workers.

He was speaking from the picket line outside the plant Monday, where about three dozen employees stood in the light rain, holding placards. The strike began at 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Employees receive overtime pay, but they want the option to refuse some of the extra shifts without penalty, Mann said.

The company, based in Memphis, Tennessee, had this statement:

"At this point, we have presented our best offer to the union," said spokeswoman Laura Clark, in an e-mail. "It is a fair and competitive proposal that balances the needs of employees with the reality of competitive pressures in our business. We will continue to work with union representatives as the lines of communications between the plant and union remain open."

The plant was operated by Weyerhaeuser Co. before a 2008 sale to International. That sale also included a plant in Mount Vernon, Ohio, that is not on strike and is represented by a different union.



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