Timber market

A potential Weyerhaeuser strike could affect the company's log dog in Longview.

About 1,200 union Weyerhaeuser Co. employees in Washington and Oregon voted Thursday on whether to strike over stalled contract negotiations.

Members of the Longview-based Woodworkers Local 536 were still counting ballots as The Daily News went to press.

Even if the union votes to strike, a work stoppage would not occur until later next week or potentially the week after, they said.

Weyerhaeuser employs just under 400 workers at its lumber mill and log dock in Longview.

Officers at the local union hall said the two sides have already met twice for negotiations. They declined to comment further until after all votes are tallied.

According to a June 21 post on the union’s Facebook page, the two sides appear to be negotiating over health care, pension contributions, wages, vacation, logging commitment levels, and mandatory overtime at the mill.

“We are hopeful that the company will come to the table and offer the crew a contract that recognizes our members’ dedication and hard work, which has resulted in Weyerhaeuser’s success as the industry leader during this time of unprecedented market conditions and economic gains,” the post said.

The union said in the post that Weyerhaeuser had shown “some movement” on wages, but it continued to disagree with the company’s position on other issues.

Local 536 is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. With nearly 600,000 active and retired members, IAM is one of the largest labor unions in North America.

A spokesman for Weyerhaeuser did not return a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Weyerhaeuser reported first-quarter net profits of $275 million in April, up from $167 million during the same period last year. Net sales were $1.9 billion, nearly $200 million more than the first quarter of 2017. The company said a healthy national housing market and strong lumber prices drove solid demand for logs.

Total housing starts for the first quarter averaged 1.32 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis — the highest quarterly average since the second quarter of 2007.

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