Shortcut Navigation:


USW Paper Workers, Private Equity Firm Work to Keep Mills Open

Wisconsin DNR photo/Flickr

Bucking a trend that has seen private equity firms buy business to bleed then shut down, United Steelworkers (USW) members at three Wisconsin paper mills and KPS Capital Partners have reached a new four-year collective bargaining agreement that workers ratified today.

The agreement comes in anticipation of the private equity firm successfully creating the largest specialty paper company in North America with its pending purchase of Wausau Paper mills in Rhinelander and Mosinee and a Thilmany mill in Kaukauna. There are some 1,400 workers at those mills. Says USW President Leo W. Gerard:

We are proud of the leadership that our local unions have shown in bringing their respective memberships together to ratify this important deal in the specialty paper sector. This particular piece of the industry still has enormous growth potential and has long been in need of a new strategic vision to capitalize on that opportunity.

USW District 2 (Wisconsin and Michigan) Director Michael Bolton says, the approach KPS took in working through these negotiations to create a world-class paper company:

Should serve as a reminder to hostile short-sighted venture capitalists—and even our own state government—that a big part of value creation is people sitting down together to solve difficult problems.

Read more from the USW.

The email address provided does not appear to be valid. Please check the address entered and try again.
Thank you for signing up to receive our blog alerts. You will receive your first email shortly.

Related Stories

Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

Sign the petition. »

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 235246 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 235246 for more information.


Join Us Online