Posts Tagged ‘flambeau river papers’

Labor-management partnerships: The seeds of success in the green economy

Abigail Paris serves as Program Assistant for the Socially Responsible Business Program.

Flambeau River PapersToday is Earth Day—a day to reflect on the importance and value of the natural environment.  Started more than 40 years ago in the United States, Earth Day is now celebrated in over 175 countries. It also serves as a time to take note of year-round environmental stewardship. In the 2010 edition of our annual Labor Day List: Partnerships that Work, we did just that.

The eight businesses featured in the report are leaders in the green industry, in terms of both environmental sustainability and labor-management partnerships. Litecontrol manufactured the first architectural lighting systems to be Cradle to Cradle™ certified. Gerding Edlen Development led the first LEED-Platinum certified renovation of a building on the National Register of Historic Places. McGough Construction built the first office building in Minnesota to be certified LEED Platinum. Flambeau River Papers will be the first pulp and paper mill in North America to go fossil fuel free by using a biofuel plant that turns wood byproducts into green diesel fuel to power the mills.

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Flambeau River Papers writes a new chapter in history of U.S. paper industry

When the soaring price of natural gas drove Smart Papers Mill into bankruptcy in 2006, the people of Park Falls, Wisconsin were faced with the loss of 300 local jobs. In a city with less than 3,000 residents, that job loss would have done major, if not irreparable, damage to the community.

Luckily for Park Falls, entrepreneur Butch Johnson stepped in to make sure that mill’s former employees weren’t left out in the cold. Johnson rehired nearly all of the mill’s workers, saving hundreds of other local jobs in the process. And he didn’t just give the mill’s employees their jobs back—he honored their existing union contract, including pay, benefits, and seniority. For their part, those union employees brought their knowledge of the paper industry to the table, and Johnson considers his employees’ union, United Steelworkers Local 2-0445,  “an integral part of the success of the company.” Read more »


And now for some positive news: the 2010 Labor Day List

In advance of Labor Day, American Rights at Work is releasing its annual report, The Labor Day List: Partnerships that Work. Every year the Labor Day List highlights positive labor-management relationships, but this year we decided to take it a step further and honor great relationships specifically within the clean energy economy. Read more »