Sep. 04, 2015 Print This | Email This     

Court Denies Kapstone's Request to Limit Number and Location of Picketers

Company Accepts Local's Offer to Return to Work

PR Newswire

LONGVIEW, Wash., Sept. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Cowlitz County Superior Court denied Kapstone's request to limit the number of picketers that could be out on the picket line, and denied the company's request to limit where picketers could stand. He imposed a 5 mile per hour speed limit for all vehicles exiting or entering the Kapstone facility, and limited the number of picketers that could traverse the entranceway in front of a vehicle to one.

"We're very pleased with the Court's decision," said Local 153 President Kurt Gallow. "This recognizes some of the safety concerns we raised and would allow us to continue to publicize our message."

In a related development, Kapstone notified Local 153 officials after 500pm today that it was accepting the workers' unconditional offer to return to work, effectively ending the unfair labor practice strike. The notice arrived shortly after the Judge had ruled on the company's motion.

The Company filed a motion for a temporary restraining order earlier this week seeking to limit the precise locations where picketers could stand and the total number of pickets allowed near the gates. Local 153's attorney, Robert Lavitt said, "We are pleased that Judge Warning respected the importance of Local 153 members being able to publicize their dispute through picketing. He declined to limit which gates our folks could picket."

The Union has been diligent in training its members on picketing rules and enforcing them out on the picket line. "The Judge recognized that 95+% of the people were not causing any problems and care deeply about this dispute and about this community. It's only a tiny portion of people '" on both sides '" that were causing problems." Gallow added.

In light of the Company's acceptance of Local 153's offer to return to work, the Union is directing its members to cease picketing. "We plan on taking down our pickets tonight and beginning the transition to return to work," said Todd Hanke, Local 153 Bargaining Board member.

Local 153 will be breaking down its tents and packing up Scabbie-the-15-foot-inflatable-rat. The Union extends a huge thank you to everyone who was out on the line '" including all our friends, family members, and other union allies '" and helped make this past week's picketing so successful. The Union has maintained a 24/7 picket line since August 27. We also appreciate all the support local businesses and community members have shown us during this time.

AWPPW Area Representative John Minor added, "We look forward to resolving this dispute and reaching a fair contract with the Company."

Media Contact:
Greg Pallesen
ph. 503-228-7486

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SOURCE Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers

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