By: John McGrath
July 20, 2012
I am writing in response to the article in the July 2 edition of Plastics News titled “Ex-workers boycotting Pactiv.”
This campaign, led by a small group of disgruntled former employees, is based on a combination of untruths and half-truths. These persons filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board making many of the same allegations; the NLRB investigated such allegations and dismissed the charge, finding that Pactiv had not violated the law.
Valuing people is at the core of Pactiv’s culture. We have a strong commitment to and a long history of valuing and respecting employees. We operate our facilities in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and strive to maintain a safe and healthful environment for all our employees. Below are some facts, which are very different than what is alleged by this group:
• The workforce reduction at the Kearny, N.J., plant, which resulted from a significant capital investment in additional automation equipment at that facility, was based solely on business and staffing issues.
• Employees are free to take breaks throughout the workday for bathroom and other personal needs.
• Employees have the right to sick days and parental leave — up to 10 absences and 11 holidays, and more days if the circumstances are such that the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act or similar laws apply.
• Mandatory overtime is an infrequent occurrence which is used only in peak demand periods when voluntary overtime does not cover immediate needs.
• Pactiv does not retaliate, and has never retaliated, against employees for speaking out on any matter or for supporting unions.
• Kearny received environmental excellence awards each year since 2006, six years in a row and still running.
• The Kearny facility has an excellent safety history, including zero lost-time incidents in 2012.
• The average rate of pay for hourly employees at the Kearny facility has increased by more than 19 percent over the past five years.
The vast majority of our employees understand and apparently appreciate this commitment. The voluntary turnover rate among hourly employees at Kearny was only 1.1 percent in 2011 and 1.2 percent in 2012, and more than 90 percent of Kearny’s workforce has been employed with the company for more than four years. Not the results you would expect at a “sweatshop.”
Pactiv will continue to focus on providing quality products and services to its customers and a safe, healthy, and positive work environment for its employees.
President and CEO
Lake Forest, Ill.