The Organizing Grind
Employees at two Boise Cascade facilities in Medford and White City have been in an uphill battle to unionize. 350 mill workers are ready to earn the same wages and benefits as their unionized counterparts in Boise Cascade facilities within the region.
The Northwest Carpenters Union is the fourth union to attempt to organize these employees. The prior three had modestly tried, but quickly lost interest, and the company expected us to do the same.
What started slowly with carpenter-to-carpenter education over a year ago picked up steam last June when a full blitz began. Council staff showed up with handbills and bargaining cards outside both plants. For two weeks, the union was outside each location at the start of each shift, talking to workers and getting authorization cards signed.
The blitz let the company know that the Carpenters Union was not one to throw in the towel as easily as others. Council staff began conducting worker meetings weekly for each of the three shifts. Boise Cascade employees showed up to discuss organizing and Council representatives addressed their questions.
The Council launched a digital campaign targeting people within a ½ mile radius of the two plants. Boise Cascade employees were served ads on their mobile devices, giving them the option to learn more about the campaign online. The click-through rate for this campaign was high–indicating many employees were interested to know about unionizing.
Over the last five months, the organizing drive has continued.
Now the campaign has reached its apex–enough workers have signed cards stating they want the NW Carpenters Union to represent them. Despite the company’s attempts to suppress momentum, workers have made their voices heard. We have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.
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