Press Releases

Minnesota Teamsters at Blandin Paper On Strike

346 Paper Strike

Manufacturing Workers Demand Living Wage, Fair Contract

Press Contact: Kara Deniz Phone: (202) 497-6610 Email: kdeniz@teamster,org

(GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.) — Blandin Paper Company workers represented by Teamsters Local 346 went on strike on July 15 after rejecting a pathetic contract offer that would retain an unfair two-tier benefits system alongside paltry wage increases.

“After years of service that saw their wages slip further and further behind rising inflation, our members are done with concessionary contracts and want what’s theirs,” said Zak Radzak, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 346. “Blandin’s laughable offer left our members with no choice but to show the company how serious they are by hitting the picket line.”

On July 14, about 170 Blandin Paper Teamsters voted overwhelmingly in favor of striking after rejecting the company’s contract offer. The workers want general wage increases that bring their pay in line with inflation, and for reckless supervisors to stop performing bargaining unit work. Members also want Blandin to remove a two-tier benefits system for new hires.

“All of these demands boil down to a simple matter of respect,” said Steve Carlson, a Blandin Paper winder operator and shop steward. “If Blandin Paper has forgotten who runs this company, we are happy to remind them day-in and day-out on the picket line for as long as it takes.”

Local 346 will hold a rally on Friday, July 21, from 1-3pm at Blandin Paper, 204 NW 4th St., in Grand Rapids, Minn., with support from Teamsters Joint Council 32 and Local 120.

Teamsters Local 346 was chartered in 1929 and represents workers across northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. For more information, go to