Contract talks continue at Verso Paper mill in Bucksport

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff
Posted May 17, 2011, at 4:04 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Contract negotiations are continuing or about to begin between several union representatives and Verso Paper mill officials.

Contracts for all four unions at the mill expired on April 30, but, according to mill spokesman Bill Cohen, the contracts included language that employees would continue to work under the terms of the old ones until a new agreement is reached.

The United Steel Workers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers unions are negotiating together for one contract, according to Duane Lugdon, the USW staff representative who represents steelworkers in the northern part of the state.

Those talks began in mid-February.

Lugdon said it is not unusual for negotiations to go on beyond the expiration date of the old contract.

“Many times you just need extra time to get to the final point,” he said. “That’s what’s going on here.”

Neither Lugdon nor Cohen would discuss specific details of the negotiations.

Representatives from the International Association of Machinists and the Office Professional Employees International Union will negotiate separately for new contracts.

The unions represent the majority of the approximately 795 employees at the Bucksport mill.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/05/17/news/hancock/contact-talks-continue-at-verso-paper-mill-in-bucksport/ printed on August 20, 2014