The story of a WestRock worker who was concerned he might be a coronavirus carrier fueled union complaints that local mill management is not taking the threat of the disease seriously.
Union officials with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 153 say there is no "communication, enforcement, follow through or understanding” between corporate, local management and floor supervisors about the company’s coronavirus-related safety procedures.
"I'm hearing something from management and from HR, and there is absolutely zero follow through on the floor. And because the supervisors aren’t buying in (to safety precautions), it’s getting really hard to get our members to buy in,” said Nick Boehler, union standing committee president.
Company spokesman John Pensac said Friday that there are "policies in place, and we are following CDC guidelines” such as social distancing and hand washing practices.
"The importance of practicing safe behaviors has been communicated at all levels from our CEO, Steve Voorhees, to the management of the Longview mill — and we will continue to reinforce this message at every opportunity,” said Pensac, who works at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
"If an employee sees something that they believe is unsafe, we want them to notify their manager or the general manager of the mill,” Pensac said.