Don Archive 

International Paper   Lexington, Kentucky


Updated : 08-13-07


Received 12-15-04
S.O.S., Somebody help! The captain (Don) and his first mates (also known as 
the lead team) are sinking the ship. Unfortunately us deck swabbers (also known 
as those who are not the lead team) are on the ship somewhere near the bottom 
of the hull. Hope somebody gets our S.O.S. message before it's too late! Sure 
does make you understand the concept of mutiny (also known as anything against 
Don, speaking the truth, union talk, or well what every excuse suits him at the 
Received 9-10-04 Via e-mail

Thanks Don for screwing my labor day plans all to hell.  Tony told me that in twenty years of his employment they only worked one other. Just goes to show  just how much respect Don has for the working people on a holiday that was set up to honor us.

Received 8-1-04 Via e-mail

I noticed the new Bill page on your sight.  And I really don't know what to say about it. I'm sure Bill has his faults and some of them are pretty bad but it has always been Noort that seemed to me to be the biggest holdback at this plant.  I think Bill does some pretty underhanded things but I think he does what Don tells him to do like the rest of us. That is exactly what I'm going to tell anyone that asks. 

New Postings!  Posted 7-19-04

Stand your ground people. If in the next few weeks you are asked what you think of this operation and it's management. Be honest and blunt. Don't pull any punches and point the finger at the one person that pulls all the strings...Noort. When anyone is written up at this facility it is approved or denied by Noort. All policies, practices, and operations are directed by Noort. Management is ruled by one man... Noort. So why blame your problems with management on anyone else? They were just doing what Noort told them to do.  The best week I think I have had in years is the one week Noort was gone last month. You could feel the collective sigh of relief from this factory. 

New Postings!  Posted 7-19-04

I have been reading this page for several weeks now and I must say most people have a dim view of this Noort person and his policies. Have any of you people though about giving this man a break? All he wants to do is use you people like dogs and wipe his butt with your benefits. What's so bad about that? You must like are still non union aren't you? 

In the Spirit of Brotherhood and Unity, we have the cure for you and Mr. Noort. Send him to my facility, his ass or attitude wouldn't last a week. As a good Union operation, we will break him down,  teach him some humility, and give him a lesson in working WITH the people and not against them OR we will put so much pressure on the higher ups they will fire him before his backside finishes warming his new chair. We don't care which choice he makes, because here he will make a choice  or we will make it for him.  But that's just what we would do. The question is...what will you do? Chose to be bullied by this man or chose to stand up to him as a good Union operation. That's one choice we can't make for you. We already made our choice We are Union and we wont be bullied!  Go PACE!

New Postings!  Posted 7-19-04

What do you call it when you sell a customer one grade of paper and run their boxes with a cheaper grade and still charge them for the higher grade? What do you call it when that becomes a standard practice at a facility? Good business? Higher profits at the possible expense of losing the customer is what I call it. Don Noort will do anything to anybody to pad his bottom line and make himself look better to corporate. He wants corporate to believe he is solely responsible for this plant showing the profit it does when we all know that is a lie. Managers like this suck the life out of a facility in order to move up the chain of command and when they achieve their goal they leave behind an operation in such disarray it may or may not recover.  It is truly sad when corporate management is so blind to the gold digging intentions of one of their subordinates. The next question is...are they blind due to misinformation or do they not see because of choice? 

Hourly workers have a choice to defend themselves with a union. Some of us do not have that option. Don't blind yourselves to the facts of what is going on here. Make a choice to open your eyes and protect yourselves as this corporation seems so unwilling to do. I assure you that were I given the ability to join a union today, I would do so with no hesitations. 

New Postings!  Posted 7-19-04

Wow! Don has really been laying low over the last couple of weeks since his smoking ban went into effect. I must say that he was dragging the bottom of the lake for something else to take away from us when he layed this one on us. What a childish joke this rule is. But I guess you have to consider the source it came from.

Received 5-26-04 via e-mail

I would like to formally apologize for the actions of some members of management. It is truly a shame when simple questions can not be answered in, what should be, an informational meeting between management and the hourly workers. The "iron fisted" way Don is running this plant is a true and unjust tragedy for not just the hourly workers but for all of us as a group.  One thing that I would like to make you aware of is the motivation behind his actions.  Don Noort  and a few others at this facility qualify for bonus money based on the performance of this operation.

It should be our goal to make this facility the best it can be but we must not forget the engine that drives us... the employees. The people that sell, manufacture, and service our products are the nucleus of this operation. For anyone to place their needs on the bottom shelf is the equivalent of turning our backs on what made us what we are.  By his actions, Don has forgotten or omitted this basic rule. Efforts that have been made to remind him of his obligation to the people of this facility have fallen on deaf ears. In past postings, I have not voiced my full support for this organization. I must now grant that support and implore all others who do not support this campaign to reconsider. Quite frankly, thanks to Don's totalitarianism,  I am now a firm believer in the concept of organized labor. 

Received 5-26-04 via hand delivery

In a recent meeting, The question was brought up to Don about how much money this plant made in the first quarter of 2004. Don replied that he wasn't sure. Think about that!  What kind of manager doesn't know the exact amount of money his operation makes from week to week much less in a quarter?  Isn't it his job to know? If he truly does not know what our profit margin is... why is he running this plant?  If he does know, what right does he have to hide information from this plant's employees?  Most all of us are investors in a public held company through the 401k program and, by law, we have a right to know this information.  

Received 5-2-04 via e-mail

What's Don's deal? Anybody can see that this smoking law does not apply to us as a private business. Does he really think we aren't smart enough to see this? Have we taken so much of his crap for face value that he feels nothing he says will be contested or at the very least, checked up on? 

Received 4-27-04 via e-mail

This year, Don hands out a 2% raise and tell us how tight things are and how lucky we are to get a raise at all.  Who are the lucky ones here?  International Paper pours millions into this plant for capital projects, settles an all cash deal for the largest independent box maker in the USA , and buys over two truckloads of new furniture for the front office. The packaging industry is exploding right now and IP is making a fortune. Who are the luck ones? Don and his little clique of pals are the lucky ones, I think, because he obviously has somebody somewhere fooled into thinking he has anything to do with this plants ability to make money. The people he uses and takes for granted everyday are the true reason we are making money!   Whip me, beat me, do whatever,  just please don't bore me with another speech about how management cares.

Received 4-25-04 via e-mail

As I understand it, my comments in a previous e-mail were greeted with some speculation as to why I am assisting a group of pro union supporters. In all reality, I am not assisting this campaign. Quite frankly, under normal circumstances, I would be opposed to a union's involvement at this facility. I am, however, a realist to the degree that I can see where this group's basis for wanting union representation comes from. That basis is what led me to speak in favor of an organized workforce. When a single person is allowed the kind of power that Don Noort has been granted at this facility it becomes necessary to balance the scales.  That balance has thus far been unattainable by conventional means such as a consensus of ideas from the management team at this facility. The opinions of all are subdued by the will of one.  

Let me reiterate on one of my key statements from my last communication. The issues you face do not happen at other International Paper Facilities. Why they are allowed to happen here is beyond me. The fact still remains that they do happen and continue to happen on a daily basis. Your supervisors, were they allowed to speak freely, feel no different about these issues than do you. It saddens me but we are all, truly,  in the same sinking boat.

 In your campaign I wish you well and truth be known and not said, most all members of management wish you the same.  I will be in contact with you soon and once again, thank you for allowing me this chance to speak. 

Received via e-mail 4-25-04 from Internet friend

I work for International Paper, Shelbyville, IL. Food Service Division. Our plant is very similar to yours in the aspect of management. Knowing what it's like to work at a great plant and then have a new plant manager totally make us all hate work. Many people have lost jobs since this guy has taken over and moral is a thing of the past. So to all Lexington Employees I say good luck and kick ass all the way!

Received via e-mail 4-25-04
The comments concerning corporate ideas and comments are greatly 
appreciated but I'm afraid they cant be true. Ignoring this website and the union's 
activities to organize the Lexington Plant can mean only one thing. High level people 
are happy with the way DON runs things. They have to know and our cries go 
unheard. So I personally have as little faith in I.P. at the corporate level as I 
do in DON. Mostly they are people that cant lie well enough to be politicians 
nor are able to do an honest days work so they feed off us. if they did have 
a clue or cared we wouldn't be in the state we are in.
Received via  e-mail 4-13-04

  Bravo guys for standing up to this guy! This page is a gem! I am pleased to see that the choke hold Don has on his management team does not extend to this group.  In all fairness it must be said that International Paper, as a corporation, is not a bad company to work for. At the corporate level, their rules and policies are fair, comparatively speaking, to other corporations. The issues most frequently brought up at the Lexington Plant are not the norm for International Paper. I am quite sure if higher level management was aware of the petty situations that have transpired at your facility, they would intervene. Getting this information to the right people and by the wrong people is the problem. The IP. chain of command is complicated at best and, unfortunately,  even managers wishing to help sometimes find their hands tied by the bureaucratic buddy system that exists in some segments of this company. In most situations I am apposed to a union's collective bargaining agreement. However, if I were in your situation, it is something I would strongly consider.    My best advice to this organizing committee... stick to your guns and the facts.  Congratulations on a really nice web page and best of luck to you all.  

Received via e-mail 4-6-04
 All I have to say is that whoever Don's boss is, he has to be spineless not 
to fire Don for letting an hourly worker  take another hourly worker to a drug 
test. It shows how little respect this company has for us in here. I think 
they both need to be fired. I have no respect for either one of them. I knew 
this was true, but I thought Don would get it for this one. This is a hell of a 
lot more serious than running a few bad boxes. I hope they sue the hell out of 
IP for this one. 


Received  4-3-04 via e-mail from Union Friends

I enjoyed your site and all it's postings lot of good reading. Keep up the good work. fellow p.a.c.e brother IP Chicago ( formally Wabash)

Received  4-2-04 via e-mail from Union Friends

Hello Lexington Employees. I'm a union brother from IP Chicago Formally Wabash Fibre Box.  Remember them? I stumbled across your web page and found some interesting reading. Good luck with your organizing efforts. I couldn't imagine dealing with these people without a Union. There is strength in numbers. Union Yes! Good luck, stay strong. IP Chicago

Received 4-2-04 via e-mail from Union Friends

Good luck guys! What we know of your plant manager is enough to say you need The PACE International Union's help badly!  Solidarity

Received 4-1-04 via e-mail

This place used to be such a great place to work. Now it's turned into just another corporate hell hole thanks in part to Don and his little yes men who are to afraid to speak up in defense of the employees. We need somebody to speak for us and not against us.  Don has had his opportunities to become a respected leader in this facility and has trashed every one of them by ignoring the needs of employees and refusing to abide by the rules. After that last run in with the union, the company came out and formed committees to help make rules that we all could live with. What a waste of time that was! We worked for weeks on, what should have been, simple policies only to find out that Don doesn't want to follow these rules and there is nothing we can do about it. If  Don or the lead team have a problem following one of the rules, they just change it or remove it. Why make rules if only some people have to follow them?  It doesn't make sense.    That is why  I signed the union's petition and joined the only real committee and I urge you to do the same. 

Received 4-1-04 via e-mail

You know, just once I would like to come in to this plant and not hear a Don Noort story. Everybody has heard them... like the time he took nearly 2 weeks to comply with his scheduled drug test or how he Banned Marcus Bryant from the shipping office and the break room. Stomping out a pizza order right before lunch was really a dandy. Holding meetings in the break room with his sales manager, office manager and production manager is a good one too. Oh Yeah!! Remember the one about how he got suspended for 2 weeks for a lock out violation? The nasty habit he has of following employees into the bathroom to harass them is a real popular tale also.   The one I really hate is how he allowed an hourly employee to take another hourly employee to a company drug test! That's right! A Company Drug Test!!  What was he thinking? or was he thinking at all?  I say "GO UNION!" and put a stop to story time! 

Received, 3-8-04 via letter 

Don has destroyed the morale and camaraderie in this facility and replaced it with resentment and distrust.  Respect and dignity are just words on a wall here. 


Received, 3-25-04 via e-mail

One thing I find completely annoying is, anytime we need to find Don or Donna to ask a question about a customer there is little reason to look in their offices because, most likely, they are in the break room. Quite frankly, this is the first place I have ever worked where a manager conducts business anywhere but their  office. I feel that some questions we have in regard to customers and their complaints or needs are not best dealt with in a leisure area where non employees such as truck drivers, salesmen and contractors freely enter.  Such flagrant disregard for the confidentiality of the people we do business with is a poor reflection on us and this corporation. 

 Speaking only for myself, I wish you and the rest of your committee the best of luck. I know we may never see the benefits of what you are trying to do but most of us respect your efforts.   


Received, 2-19-04 via e-mail

Hello. I think you guys are wrong about wanting union. I don't want a union. I want to be in management so I can live in the break room and  hang out with my friends while I smoke and drink coffee.  


Received, 2-04-04 via e-mail

I think, at times,  Don could use a mirror so he could see the way his actions really look to the rest of this factory. I think he would be terribly ashamed. I am ashamed for him.


Comments made on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the creators of this page, The Lexington Plant Union Committee, or the PACE International Union.  We do not endorse the content of this page to be factual. The comments made here reflect the opinions or ideas of the writers of said commentaries.  This page was created for the sole purpose of organizing the people of International Paper Lexington, Kentucky  for the purpose of collective bargaining.
This network is created and managed by Marcus Bryant & Tony Bellamy   with the sole intentions of exercising their  legal right to organize for the  purpose of collective bargaining. 
Your in-plant organizing committee is: Tony Bellamy,  Roger "3 O'clock" Clark,  Roy "Daddy" Cates,  Dennis "The Enforcer" Brannock,  James Davenport,  Greg Pelfrey,  Jim Rohr,  Shane Nolan,   Quentin Gay,  Tommy Wells,  Brian Hill,  Rodney Clem,  Hugh Reed, Emery "The Big E" Addison,  Derek Webb And Marcus Bryant.  

We serve notice to all that, under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, we are participating in a Federally Protected Activity to organize the workforce of International Paper Lexington for the purpose of collective bargaining.   Any and all of the contents of this website is used, exclusively,  for that stated purpose. No other meaning should be assigned or implied to said content. By Federal Law, any misrepresentation or alteration of the original copyrighted material  contained in this website is forbidden.  


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Last modified: August 12, 2007.