MONTREAL, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) announced a five-year renewal of the master collective agreement covering four unionized U.S. pulp and paper mills. Unionized employees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement at mills in Augusta, Georgia; Calhoun, Tennessee; Catawba, South Carolina; and Coosa Pines, Alabama, effective as of February 14, 2014.
"At Resolute, we believe in succeeding together, where every member's contribution is important to reach our collective goals and ensure our long-term success," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. "We're very pleased to have quickly reached an agreement with union leadership and members to ensure we remain a competitive employer, but also one that maintains its competitive edge."
The agreement covers about 1,500 employees, represented by the United Steelworkers (USW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada (UA). The agreement improves wages in each of its five years and continues the partnership with all unions on employee safety and efficiency. In addition to securing high-quality healthcare, it will encourage consumer behavior to control costs, allow employees to benefit from wellness initiatives, and significantly reduce the Company's other postretirement benefits, or "OPEB," liabilities.
The four mills, together with the Company's other U.S. pulp and paper operations, none of which has an expiring collective agreement, represent almost half of the Company's pulp and paper production capacity.
About Resolute Forest Products Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The Company owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Marketing its products in close to 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organizations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them.
SOURCE Resolute Forest Products Inc.