Shame Of It All 

International Paper   Lexington, Kentucky


Updated : 08-13-07


Shareholders Send Signal to IP Board
NEW YORK (AP) - Directors at International Paper Co. were re-elected Monday, overcoming a significant vote of no confidence amid calls for annual board elections.

Director John L. Townsend was re-elected to the board despite "withhold" votes representing roughly 38 percent of those cast, according to a preliminary count. Director Martha F. Brooks was also re-elected despite a quarter of those votes withheld. In corporate elections, the withholding of more than 20 percent of the vote is generally considered high.

The protest vote follows the board's rejection of calls for the annual election of directors despite majority shareholder support for this motion last year. At last year's annual shareholder meeting, 80 percent of votes were cast, representing 65 percent of the shares outstanding, in favor of a proposal asking that directors be elected annually.

International Paper's board is currently elected on a "staggered" basis where a third of the directors are elected every three years. Shareholders often push for annual elections as a way to increase board accountability.

"Because of the recent voting recommendations from certain shareholder advisory services to withhold votes from Mr. Townsend and Ms. Brooks, we had anticipated that would be reflected in the results, but overall we see today's outcome as very positive," said Amy Sawyer, a spokeswoman for the company.

Among shareholders that opposed the re-election of Brooks and Townsend was public pension fund California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, which owns 2.5 million of IP's 452.5 million shares. The other two directors that were up for election this year are new to the board.

Firms that advise institutional shareholders on voting in corporate elections recommended that shareholders withhold votes from these directors as well.

Memphis, Tenn.-based International Paper is a paper and packaging company.





International Paper To Pay $12.4 Million To Settle Fiber Prices Suit

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- International Paper  Co. (IP) agreed to pay $12.4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company and some of its fiber suppliers conspired to artificially depress fiber prices.

The Memphis, Tenn., paper and forest products company said in its quarterly report filed late Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it maintains its supplier program didn't violate any antitrust laws.

International Paper said the Federal District Court in Columbia, S.C., has preliminarily approved the settlement and that a final hearing for court approval is set for Sept. 25.

In a previous filing, International Paper said the suit, filed by a group of private landowners in September 2002, alleged that the company and some fiber suppliers "engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to artificially depress the prices at which the company procures fibers for its mills."

-By Nicolas Brulliard; Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-1351; nicolas.brulliard@

Do you know what's really funny? When it comes time to give us a raise you would think the company is impoverished and yet they have 12.4 million dollars laying around to pay their settlements with.

And I might point out the fact they still deny doing anything wrong. 


 AP: U.S. Offers Tips on Avoiding OT Pay

Quote By:  Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division administrator, Tammy McCutchen                                    

      "Unless you have a contract, there is no legal rule ... prohibiting an employer from either raising your salary or cutting your salary,"                                                       


Article By LEIGH STROPE, AP Labor Writer 

WASHINGTON - A proposed Labor Department (news - web sites) rule suggests ways employers can avoid paying overtime to some of the 1.3 million low-income workers who would become eligible this year. The department's advice comes even as it touts the $895 million in increased wages that it says those workers would be guaranteed from the reforms. Among the options for employers: cut workers' hourly wages and add the overtime to equal the original salary, or raise salaries to the new $22,100 annual threshold, making them ineligible. The department says it is merely listing well-known choices available to employers, even under current law. "We're not saying anybody should do any of this," said Labor Department spokesman Ed Frank. New overtime regulations were proposed in March after employers complained they were being saddled with costly lawsuits filed by workers who claimed they were unfairly being denied overtime. But the regulations themselves have stirred controversy over how many workers would be stripped of their right to overtime pay. The issue is being seized by Democrats in their attempt to win back Congress and the White House. A final rule, revising the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, is expected to be issued in March. The act defines the types of jobs that qualify workers for time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week. Overtime pay for the 1.3 million low-income workers has been a selling tool for the Bush administration in trying to ease concerns in Congress about millions of higher-paid workers becoming ineligible. But the Labor Department, in a summary of its plan published last March, suggests how employers can avoid paying overtime to those newly eligible low-income workers. "Most employers affected by the proposed rule would be expected to choose the most cost-effective compensation adjustment method," the department said. For some companies, the financial impact could be "near zero," it said. Employers' options include: _Adhering to a 40-hour work week. _Raising workers' salaries to a new $22,100 annual threshold, making them ineligible for overtime pay. If employers raise a worker's salary "it means they're getting a raise that's not a way around overtime," Frank said. The current threshold is $8,060 per year. _Making a "payroll adjustment" that results "in virtually no, or only a minimal increase in labor costs," the department said. Workers' annual pay would be converted to an hourly rate and cut, with overtime added in to equal the former salary. Essentially, employees would be working more hours for the same pay. The department does not view the "payroll adjustment" option as a pay cut. Rather, it allows the employer to "maintain the pay at the current level" with the new overtime requirements, said the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division administrator, Tammy McCutchen, an architect of the plan. Labor unions criticized the employer options. Mark Wilson, a lawyer for the Communications Workers of America who specializes in overtime issues, said the Bush administration was protecting the interests of employers at the expense of workers. "This plan speaks volumes about the real motives of this so-called family-friendly administration," Wilson said. He says cutting workers' pay to avoid overtime is illegal, based on a 1945 Supreme Court ruling and a 1986 memo by the Labor Department under President Reagan. But McCutchen disagreed. If changes were made week to week to avoid overtime, they would be illegal. A one-time change is not, she said. "We had a lot of lawyers look at this rule. We would not have put that in there if we thought it was illegal," she said. "Unless you have a contract, there is no legal rule ... prohibiting an employer from either raising your salary or cutting your salary," she said, adding, "We do not anticipate employers will cut people's pay." The final plan does not require approval from Congress. That hasn't stopped Democrats and some Republicans from trying to block the rule, thus far unsuccessfully, out of fear that millions of workers would become ineligible for overtime. Department officials say about 644,000 higher-paid workers would lose their overtime eligibility. But the proposal says 1.5 million to 2.7 million workers "will be more readily identified as exempt" from overtime requirements. Labor unions claim the figure is about 8 million. The Labor Department is aware of lawmakers' concerns has read tens of thousands of comments about the proposal, McCutchen said. "We understand what the public concerns are and we're going to be doing our best to address them," she said. "It's important to allow us to finish that process so we can back up our words with some good-faith action."  

More Lawsuits against IP. Big surprise huh?


IP, Georgia-Pacific, Weyerhaeuser settle suit

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. paper makers International Paper Co.  Weyerhaeuser Co. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. on Tuesday agreed to pay $68 million to settle class-action lawsuits alleging they and others conspired to raise prices on cardboard sheets and boxes.
In a statement, International Paper said its portion of the settlement is about
In a statement, International Paper said its portion of the settlement is about $24 million. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company said it will take an after-tax charge of 2 cents per share in the current quarter for the payment.
Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific said it plans to take a third-quarter charge of $13 million, or 5 cents per share, for the settlement. Its total share is about $21 million.
Weyerhaeuser, based in Federal Way, Washington, will take a third-quarter charge of $15 million, or 7 cents per share, for its portion of the settlement.
Plaintiffs that opted out of the class action suit prior to the settlement have recently filed separate cases, which are still pending, against the companies.
The settlement deals with two lawsuits filed in 1999 in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against several major cardboard and packaging companies.
The suits alleged the companies "conspired to fix or manipulate the price of linerboard," which is used to make cardboard containers, Weyerhaeuser said.  

International Paper has money to burn when it comes to settling lawsuits and litigation but when it comes to the employees they must cut jobs to show a profit.  24 Million dollars would have gone a long way toward keeping some of our friend's jobs don't you think? Not to mention it would have been a boost to our health care or our S&A pay had they have invested it into us instead of breaking the law and tossing 24 million dollars out the window. There comes a time when you must ask yourself, do I trust these people to look out for my best interest? If they break laws that cost them countless millions of dollars, what are they willing to do to me? You need the protection of a Union Contract to give you at least some peace of mind. IP has proven time and time again that they will do whatever to you or against you they can to make a dollar. Make a stand now while we still have something to stand on! Support the Union effort, support yourself! 


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.