Sappi paper union authorizes strike

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United Steelworkers Local 11-63 members voted Tuesday to authorize a strike at Cloquet’s Sappi Fine Paper mill, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The action gives union leaders the option to call a strike if they believe one is necessary. The union and company are trying to forge a compromise on compensation and benefits in a new contract, the newspaper reports.

Company officials say their offer is fair.

"Even though such a vote is not uncommon, and does not mean a strike will occur, we are very disappointed in the membership's action, given our fair and competitive contract package," Sappi managing director Rick Dwyer said in a press release.

The mill in northeast Minnesota has about 780 employees and has been in operation more than 100 years, Sappi says.

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