AWPPW Local 60 member Steven Phillips will be attending President Obama’s State of the Union Address
Updated On: Jan 12, 2016

Brothers and Sisters, on Tuesday January 12th, 2016 AWPPW Local 60 member Steven Phillips will be attending President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Mr. Phillips is attending as a guest of Congressman Peter DeFazio.  DeFazio represents the 4th Congressional District of Oregon.

Congressman DeFazio has be an advocate for working families in Oregon and a strong opponent of the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement currently being pushed by Corporate American and President Obama’s administration.

Congressman DeFazio understands fully the negative impact these Unfair Trade Agreements have had and will continue to have on hard working men and women and the negative impact on the environment.

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Congressman Peter DeFazio was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 1986 and is now the longest serving House member in Oregon’s history.  As the dean of the Oregon House delegation, he has developed a reputation as an independent, passionate and effective lawmaker.

In 2014, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Ranking Member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development.  

DeFazio has served as a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee since he first entered Congress in 1987. During his time on the Committee, he has served as Chairman or Ranking Member of four of the six subcommittees: Aviation, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Highways and Transit, and Water Resources and Environment. DeFazio has taken a lead role on several multi-billion dollar surface transportation and FAA reauthorization bills, and worked to strengthen Buy America standards. In 2005, DeFazio served as the Ranking Member on the Highways Subcommittee where he helped negotiate a five-year federal highway and transit spending bill called SAFETEA-LU. Under the bill DeFazio secured $2.7 billion for Oregon's roads, bridges, highways and transit systems. More recently, DeFazio introduced the Repeal and Rebuild Act (HR 4848), a long-term solution to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. (Read more about HR 4848 here.)

As the new Ranking Member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, DeFazio is committed to fight for infrastructure investment that results in job creation, increased safety, economic efficiency and strategic growth.

DeFazio previously served as the Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Committee, where he focused on energy, federal lands, ocean and fisheries, and Native American issues. In 2013, he successfully passed his balanced, bipartisan O&C solution that creates private sector jobs, provides revenues to failing counties, and permanently protects old-growth and other irreplaceable environmental treasures.

DeFazio and his wife, Myrnie Daut, live in Springfield, Oregon. He has logged roughly six million miles traveling between Oregon and Washington, DC. DeFazio has voted against and refused to accept congressional pay raises while the government is deficit spending. Instead, he has used his pay raises to fund scholarships at five southwestern Oregon community colleges. By the end of 2015, DeFazio will have contributed $327,163 of after-tax salary toward 245 scholarships. He counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.

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June of 1974 Mr. Phillips began working at what was then Menasha Corporations’ North Bend, Oregon Containerboard Mill where he worked as a summer helper, in the Maintenance Dept.  Phillips was offered full time employment in the labor pool where he spent the next 2 years working in different departments, finally landing a job in the Power House.  Over the next 10 years he worked his my way up from clean-up man to Recovery Boiler Operator, and he became an Officer of the Associations of Western Pulp & Paper Workers (AWPPW) Local #1000.  The Containerboard mill was purchased by Weyerhaeuser Corporation.

In 1987 Mr. Phillips started as an apprentice in the Maintenance Department; advancing to Journeyman Millwright in 1991.

On August 15th, 2003, Weyerhaeuser Co announced the permanent closure of the facility, invoking the WARN Act.  The workforce was Trade Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor; which meant the workers lost their jobs due to unfair trade completion.  Mr. Phillips worked as a Peer Outreach Councilor; helping his fellow displaced membership with writing resumes, applying for jobs and job training.

April 2004 he accepted a job offer from Weyerhaeuser Co.’s Paper Mill in Albany, Oregon.

Mr. Phillips worked at this facility as a Lubrication Tech., Millwright, Maintenance Planner and an Officer of AWPPW Local #3. International Paper Co. announced the permanent closure of the facility on October 15th, 2009. Rather than invoke the WARN Act, my employment with International Paper ended on December 15th, 2009.  The workforce was Trade Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor.

May 2010 Phillips was asked to become a Peer Outreach Councilor assisting displaced workers.

In August of 2010 he accepted an offer with Longview Fibre in Longview, Washington a Journeyman Millwright.  While working at the Longview, Washington plant site the workforce was Trade Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor.  Facing an uncertain future Mr. Phillips decided to look for work elsewhere.

November1, 2010 Phillips when to work at the SP Newsprint in Newberg, Oregon where began working as a Journeyman Multicraft Millwright.

January, 2014, SP Fibertech curtailed the #5 paper machine and Phillips went on layoff status, returning to work in April.  After SP Fibertech emerged from bankruptcy WestRock Paper purchased the plants site.

October 20th, 2015 WestRock Paper Company announced the indefinite idling of the facility; Mr. Phillips employment with WestRock Paper Co. ended on November 20, 2015.

The Newberg, Oregon plant site workforce has been Trade Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor TWICE before.

A new workforce Trade Act Certification has been applied for and is expected to be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor within the next few weeks.

Gregory A. Pallesen
Vice President AWPPW

ph. 503-228-7486
fax 503-972-7684

gpallesen@awppw.org


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