Union Backs Off Strike, Accepts Contract

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Hundreds of Potlatch Corp. employees in Lewiston will not strike after all.

Union workers voted Thursday to accept the timber company’s final contract offer.

The strike potential and contract talks have been in limbo since workers at the Clearwater Lumber Mill and power boiler voted to strike last month.

The vote by 265 affected workers came amid squabbles with the company over salaries and pension benefits.

Potlatch spokesman Matt Van Vleet says the company is pleased workers agreed to accept the contract. Van Vleet says he expects operations to continue as normal.

The contract gives workers lump sum bonuses worth 2.5 percent of each salary the next two years, then a salary increase of 2.5 percent in the third year and 4 percent in the fourth and final year of the deal.