The vast majority (97.1%) of around 110,000 voters backed a strike from a 76% turnout of CWU members, representing both one of the largest ‘Yes’ votes and turnouts for many years. Strikes at Royal Mail were averted last year after the postal service agreed to increase pay, reform pensions and reduce weekly working hours from 39 to 35 by 2022, subject to productivity improvements. CWU said the agreement is not being honoured by the company’s new leadership but Royal Mail has said it is abiding by the agreement and has awarded two pay rises since last year.
Owens-Illinois, Inc. is furthering its commitment to sustainability by securing a $225 million bank loan, with a sustainability-linked pricing mechanism. The loan will be issued to OI European Group BV, a wholly owned subsidiary, and proceeds will be used to retire existing bank debt. Funding will be provided by Bank of America, who also will serve as Sustainability Coordinator for this transaction. The bank loan is one of the first sustainable improvement loans in the Food and Packaging Industry. The interest rate on the loan is indexed to O-I’s overall Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Score as rated by Sustainalytics. Improvements in O-I’s ESG score will reduce the interest rate under the bank loan.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently filed its new pricing for the 2020 postal rate increase among its various mail class products with an average price increase of 1.9% across the board. Pending review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the new prices will begin on January 26, 2020. The good news is that while a postage pricing increase is a disappointment for all involved, carrier route mail did not see as dramatic of an increase as other mail classes. We believe this will open up additional opportunities to get involved in a postage cost-savings plan. For catalogers, one of the best ways to achieve this carrier route pricing tier is through co-mailing – which is the process of combining and sorting multiple different titles into a single mail stream it enters into the postal facilities.
Oil edged further below $59 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by concerns about weaker demand for fuel due to slower economic growth and forecasts of a further rise in U.S. crude inventories. In a bearish signal for demand, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday the U.S.-China trade war would cut 2019 global growth to its slowest since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Polymer Packaging Inc. is jumping back into the extrusion business after more than a decade of absence. The Massillon-based flexible and protective packaging maker initially is spending more than $10 million on equipment and expects to start film production soon on a pair of three- layer, coextrusion lines made by Windmöller & Hölscher, the company said. "Our team was discussing growth strategies in the spring of 2018. We decided to take an approach of asking our customers where they felt there were needs that we might be able to fill," CEO Larry Lanham said in an email interview. And one customer asked whether the company would consider manufacturing film.
Greif, Inc. announced that it is ceasing operations at its Number 1 paperboard machine at the Mobile Paperboard Mill in Mobile, Alabama. The Number 2 paperboard machine will continue to operate normally. This action will help to reduce the Mobile Mill’s ongoing operating costs and capital needs. Greif said that the Number 1 machine has an annual production capacity of 64,965 tons of uncoated recycled board (URB).
Grabbing a newspaper and coffee to go is an American tradition. But it is eroding as more publications favor online-only and coffee shops and retail outlets stop assigning space for newspapers. Neiman Lab reports that Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket chain by revenue, will stop carrying free newspapers and magazines as of October 15 — after 20 years. A Kroger rep told the Memphis Business Journal: “We are removing the publication racks from our stores because more publications continue to shift to digital formats, resulting in less customers using the products.”
The number of books self-published in the U.S. saw more rapid growth in 2018, jumping 40% over 2017, according to Bowker’s annual survey of the self-publishing market. In its report, “Self-Publishing in the United States, 2013-2018: Print and E-books,” the total number of print and e-books that were self-published in 2018 was 1.68 million, up from 1.19 million in 2017. Bowker measures the size of the market based on the number ISBN’s registered and thus does not include self-published e-books by Amazon’s Kindle division, which uses an Amazon identifier. Amazon is considered to be largest publisher of self-published e-books, even if no number is available. Amazon’s CreateSpace division dominates the print self-publishing market, with 1.4 million self-published print titles last year, up from 929.290 in 2017.
NAPCO Media LLC announced that Frank Tueckmantel has joined the team as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Tueckmantel brings extensive strategic marketing and business development experience to the role, from his previous longstanding tenure as EFI’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing. In this new position, Tueckmantel is primarily responsible for the development of a powerful new event initiative which will launch next year. The new platform will provide OEMs, industry groups, and associations with a comprehensive, end-to-end customer engagement offering to fully maximize their onsite trade show experience, before, during, and after a show.
Sonoco-Alocre announced it will raise prices for paper-based tubes and cores supplied in the United Kingdom between 8 and 10 percent, depending on product category, effective for shipments beginning on November 1, 2019. “This adjustment in price is driven by increases in key elements relating to the manufacture of products, namely adhesive components, energy costs, freight and labor,” said Adam Wood, vice president of paper and industrial converted products, Europe, Middle East and Australia/New Zealand.