Board Converting News, April 20, 2020

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 36 years April 20, 2020 VOL. 36, NO. 16

My Employee Is Requesting Leave Due To COVID-19: Now What? BY JOEL GREENWALD, ESQ. NOTE: The laws are changing rapidly in the current pandemic/crisis. Therefore, the legal issues discussed here are subject to constant change. It is best to consult with counsel concerning any specific legal advice you may need. About three weeks ago, the federal government enacted the Fam- ilies First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides job-pro-

Sonoco To Invest $83M In North American URB Mills Hartsville, South Carolina based Sonoco an- nounced that its Board of Directors has ap- proved an $83 million investment to strength- en its uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) mill system in the United States and Canada. The majority of the investment includes trans- forming its Hartsville, SC, corrugated medium machine (No. 10 machine) into a state-of-the- art URB machine with annual production ca- pacity of approximately 180,000 tons. The new Hartsville machine will be de- signed with the goal of being the largest and lowest cost URB machine in the world, with the capability of producing a wide range of high-value paper grades to service Sonoco’s industrial and consumer converted products businesses and external trade customers. Sonoco is one of the world’s leading pro- ducers of URB, with 12 mills and 20 machines in the U.S. and Canada. As a result of the Hartsville No. 10 machine conversion, Sonoco will be exiting the corrugated medium market by the end of 2021, and the expected effi- ciency of the converted machine will give the company the opportunity to rationalize some of the higher cost assets in its mill system.

tected paid leave to employees affected by COVID-19. The law is now in effect and the United States Department of Labor issued a temporary rule on April 1 that clarifies a num- ber of unanswered questions about the law. Below please find responses to Frequently Asked Questions that address business lead- ers’ concerns about how to deal with the com- plex web of COVID-19-related leave issues. Please note that business situations vary and

Joel Greenwald

the answers for your situation are often fact-specific. We hope the fol- lowing FAQs address questions that are relevant and pressing to your business, but they are only general legal information. Q: What’s the FFRCA? A: As a quick reminder, the Act provides a job-protected, paid leave of absence for the employee’s own COVID-19 condition (based on medi- cal recommendations or an order of quarantine), care of someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19; or care of a child whose school or childcare provider has closed as a result of COVID-19. More informa- tion about the leave entitlements can be found at . Q: My business was ordered to close by the government because we are a non-essential business. Does that mean all my employees get to take a leave of absence under the federal law? A: No. The inquiry needs to focus on whether the employee him- or herself would be able to work “but for” a COVID-19-related reason. In other words, the employee must be otherwise not just able to work or telework, but must be actually working. Where the government re- quires a business to shut down, if the employee is not able to work (say, because the job requires an in-person presence), the employee’s inability to work is caused by the business being closed, not the em- ployee’s own COVID-19-related situation.


WHAT’S INSIDE 6 Corrugated Industry Recognizes 422 For Safety Achievements 8 FBA: Shipments Up Again In March 14 AICC Chairman Jay Carman: ‘You Don’t Feel Alone With AICC’ 32 SCT Develops, Donates Disposable Face Shields


Thacker Industrial Service Company (T.I.S.CO.) is a machinery and equipment manufacturer that has been providing quality parts and support services to the domestic and global corrugated industry for more than 30 years .

Moving and Rigging Control Centers Complete Rebuilds Repair and Service Conveyor Installation Manufacture Tracks Consulting


April 20, 2020

24/7/365: Error-free, on time and on budget, T.I.S.CO. delivers “turn-key installation of equipment and machinery anywhere in the world.

T.I.S.CO.’s. in-house electrical programmers and technicians can design and install complete electrical control systems for all your corrugated plant equipment. We can also custom design and build specialty equipment to solve your specific production needs. We also manufacture and provide parts and service for the Harper line of products, including wiper blades, print and die-cut sections and digital registers. Reliable. Professional. Dedicated. 800-242-2270

Sonoco To Invest (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

“We are calling this investment Project Horizon, as we will be creating a much brighter future for our domestic URB mill system while resolving the volatility we have ex- perienced as an independent producer of corrugated me- dium from our No. 10 machine. These investments will drive significant operating cost savings, ensure the long-term vi- ability of our Hartsville paper mill complex and place our U.S. and Canada URB mill system into the top quartile of performance from a cost perspective,” said Howard Coker, Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer. The Hartsville No. 10 machine conversion will start with the development of a new recycled fiber stock prep sys- tem, which will allow the mill complex to use a wide range of low-cost mixed paper and OCC. As part of the mill sys- tem optimization program, Sonoco will also increase ca- pacity of its Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, mill. After the full ramp up of production, the mill system in- vestment is projected to provide approximately $24 mil- lion in annual cost savings starting in 2023, while deliv- ering returns well above the cost of capital. Sonoco also expects to drive additional savings from supply chain op- timization, along with environmental and power consump- tion savings. In addition, Sonoco is permanently closing its No. 3 URB paper machine in Hartsville and its Trent Valley, On- tario, Canada, paper mill due to market conditions.

The Price is Right More readers rely on Board Converting News’ containerboard pricing to negotiate their contracts. SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

Robyn Smith at 910-553-4055 / Len Prazych at 518-366-9017 /

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April 20, 2020

AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indi- cated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner $885.00-890.00 $900.00-910.00 $900.00-910.00 $900.00-910.00 $930.00-940.00 $903.00-912.00

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$820.00-850.00 $835.00-855.00 $835.00-855.00 $835.00-855.00 $865.00-875.00 $838.00-858.00

West Coast U.S. Average

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets


E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56





CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.

At EAM-Mosca, we partner with you to provide the best corrugated strapping solution for your application. To learn more about our strapping systems for the corrugated industry visit or contact us at | 844-859-6968

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West

$920.00 $965.00

$910.00 $945.00


3/7/19 2:04 PM

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April 20, 2020

Corrugated Industry Recognizes 422 Plants For Safety Achievements The Fibre Box Association (FBA) and AICC – The Inde- pendent Packaging Association will recognize 422 cor- rugated industry plants for safety achievements in 2019. Safety Awards are given based on data compiled for the recently released 2019 Corrugated Container Industry Annual Report of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. For the calendar year 2019, the associations will pres- ent 154 Perfect Plant Awards to plants achieving zero incidents. An additional 268 facilities will receive Safety Excellence Awards for achieving no lost workdays due to job-related injury or illness. The report provides detailed data for more than 167 million hours worked at 711 participating plants. It also in- cludes trend information presented in graphs for record- able cases, restricted duty cases, and days away from work. Award winners are presented as a percentage of total plant participation and the Safety Award Winners page serves as a great summary of achievement, includ- ing a count of winners by category, number of Perfect Plant Awards, number of Safety Excellence Awards, total awards given, and the percentage of plants awarded. Participation in the report was voluntary and open to all corrugator or sheet plant facilities manufacturing cor- CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Boring? If we didn't paint it this way, it wouldn't get noticed.

When it comes to a baler that takes care of business, boring reliability is the holy grail. But right-sized automation that makes the baler an operator-friendly and low-maintenance part of your operation is no less important. The Balemaster brand of balers delivers both. (Paint job is extra.)

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April 20, 2020

The Broadest Range of Upgrades for the Corrugating Industry...

ives Need



with your nd ease ives. The onal user ion. e for a 753 ging up to ximum

ProDrive eliminates obsolete DC motors with an AC vector upgrade and improves reliability of your equipment. DeviceLogix™ – Controls outputs and manages status information locally within the drive, allowing you to operate the drive independently or complementary to supervisory control. Configure for Your Application – Each drive has a slot-based hardware architecture that educes unnec ssary add-ons and gives you the flexibility to select option cards to suit your application and expand your drive for future needs. Supported hardware control options are common for the series to help reduce your inventory and spare parts requirements. Predictive Diagnostics – Prevent unplanned downtime with predictive diagnostics and built-in protection features to help guard your investment. These settings allow the PowerFlex 750-Series to keep track of information that affects the life of the drive components. PowerFlex 755 drives 250 kW/350 Hp and larger have additional diagnostic features including built-in protection devices. The PowerFlex 753 and 755 AC drives offer more selection for control, communications, safety and supporting hardware options than any other drives in their class.

ProGear doublebacker drive upgrade eliminates obsolete DC drive and bull gears.

ProDisplay achieves a new level of plant floor visual management and accountability.

es drives ty: 53 and

ment ming,

Soft Touch

either able to mproving

F Softtouch

ts a tegration embedded e data herNet/IP flexible and vice Level

Glue roll

Corrugating roll

ProPress thermal transfer components improve bonding. Feedback – Options include Universal, Encoder and Dual Encoder feedback options. The Universal Feedback option includes multiple feedback interfaces to support a wide range of applications. Interfaces supported are Incremental, EnDat and Hiperface for Stegmann and Heidenhain high resolution feedback, SSI and BiSS for rotary and linear applications. The drives also provide automatic feedback loss switchover. Application-matched Packaging – Gain additional flexibility with packaging options that address a range of application and environmental protection requirements.

Glue unit

tect owntime

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ProPlate thin wall hot plates improve heat transfer.

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Corr24 is the Chicago Electric brand of upgrades for the corrugating industry. More than 3,500 upgrade solutions have been installed in the last 25 years.


Corrugated Industry (CONT’D FROM PAGE 6)

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month March 2020

rugated products. Participants can view the full report on FBA’s website at . For more info about the Safety Awards Program or the 2019 Corrugated Con- tainer Industry Annual Report of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, contact Peggy Lacy at FBA: Shipments Up Again In March Industry shipments of corrugated products increased 9.0 percent, from 31.87 bsf in March of 2019 to 34.73 bsf in March of 2020, the Fibre Box Association (FBA) reported. The increase is partially due to the fact there was one more shipping day in March of 2020. Average week shipments increased 4.0 percent, from 7.588 bsf in 2019 to 7.895 bsf in 2020. Shipments of corrugated products increased 2.7 percent year-to-date. Containerboard consumption was 2.865 million tons in March of 2020, up from 2.596 million tons, or 10.3 percent, in March of 2019. Consumption increased 5.1 percent year- to-date over 2019, from 7.803 million tons to 8.193 million tons. Containerboard inventory at corrugator plants de- creased 7.4 percent, from 2.2978 million tons in February 2020 to 2.1278 million tons in March 2020. Weeks of sup- ply shrunk from at 3.7 to 3.3, or 10.8 percent.



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

34.739 31.870


7.895 7.588


Industry Total

Year-to Date

March 2020



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

98.981 94.892


7.733 7.531


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2020 2019

2.8653 2.5967


8.1983 7.8036


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Mar. Feb.

2.1278 2.2978


3.3 3.7


Shipping Days




2020 2019

22 21

64 63

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association


April 20, 2020



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Volk Packaging Fights COVID-19 With ‘Outside The Box’ Procedures Derek Volk, President of Biddeford, Maine based Volk Packaging Corporation, has announced 10 “Outside the Box” ways in which the company is fighting COVID-19:

6. We propped the doors when people come and go so no one has to touch a door knob. We also plugged the door jams allowing people to push the door open and put paper towels inside the doors, allowing people to pull back a door to open it without touching the doorknob. 7. We taped instructions above every sink reminding people how to properly wash and dry their hands. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to wash your hands to limit the spread of COVID-19. 8. We explained to everyone how scammers are taking advantage of this so not to open any e-mails unless from a recognized person. And be careful about e-mails asking for charitable donations because people are abusing this situation to steal money from innocent people who just want to be helpful and compassionate. 9. In another effort to keep morale up, we started the “Volk Virus Giveaway.” Every day we will have a raffle giving away Volk swag, like tee shirts, sunglasses, hats, Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards, Aroma Joe’s cards, etc. 10. We bought trash cans for public areas with foot ped- als requiring no touching of a cover to throw trash away. Volk Packaging Corporation designs, manufactures and distributes high quality corrugated and foam prod- ucts including shipping containers, inner packaging and stock boxes throughout New England. The company is a third-generation family owned and operated business offering the service and attention not available from the large paper packaging companies. Visit .

1. We hired babysitters for em- ployees’ kids so everyone can come to work. 2. We went to three shifts so peo- ple are spread out more, significant- ly limiting everyone’s exposure. We

Derek Volk

also have each shift working every other machine so no two machines next to each other are running at the same time, which also spreads people out even more. 3. Shifts leave 15 minutes before every shift technically ends so they have no contact with the other shifts. They are paid for this time. 4. Every shift begins with a thorough 15 minute cleaning of the machines. 5. People are required to shelter-in-place at their ma- chine, cubicle or office. No one is allowed to leave their work spot unless they have to go to the restroom or deal with a necessary task. Everyone is strongly encouraged to bring a bag lunch so nothing has to be warmed up, limiting the number of people using the cafeteria.

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April 20, 2020

Chicago TAPPI To Award $4,000 Scholarship

Chicago TAPPI announced that it has developed a schol- arship program in which it will award a $4,000 scholarship to one deserving college student whose parent, grand- parent or legal guardian is a member of Chicago TAPPI in good standing.

The objective is to financially assist young men and women with their college education and encourage stu- dents to strive for higher scholastic ideals. To be eligible, the scholarship candidate: • Must be a high school senior who is provisionally ac- cepted as full-time student into undergraduate degree programs by an accredited junior college or full four- year college or university. • Must be a full-time student enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited junior college, col- lege or university. • Must have a parent, grandparent or legal guardian who is a member of Chicago TAPPI in good standing. • Must NOT have won a Chicago TAPPI Scholarship in the past. Entry Requirements: The following is required of each applicant: • An official completed application form. • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the student’s school guidance counselor and one must be from a non-related adult. • An official transcript of the student’s high school/col- lege record. • Official ACT or SAT test results (High School Seniors). Awards: The scholarship consists of a one-time $4,000 award, which must be used to pay for the student’s college ex- penses. The scholarship will be forfeited and must be re- paid to Chicago TAPPI if the award is not directly used to pay college expenses. Application forms: are available through Chicago TAP- PI via mail or at . All applica- tions and additional information must be received on or before Monday, June 29, 2020. Applications and relat- ed material cannot be returned. All applications should be mailed to: Chicago TAPPI Scholarship, Keith Carman, Scholarship Chairman, 710 Kimberly Drive, Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188, or e-mailed to


April 20, 2020

Explore the new frontiers of corrugated.

Imagine where unprecedented versatility and unrivaled quality can take you.

Seeing is believing. Arrange a demo at

The winds of change have come to the corrugated printing industry, and the Inca OnsetX HS UV flatbed press from Fujifilm is pioneering the way. Capable of printing 284 5' x 10' boards per hour with vibrant colors, the OnsetX HS offers a combination of versatility, speed and quality that has never been seen before. Plus, with no plate production or lamination, fast turnarounds and short runs are finally possible. With OnsetX HS, more profit is now on your horizon.

AICC Chairman Jay Carman: ‘You Don’t Feel Alone When You’re A Member Of AICC’ BY MIKE D’ANGELO Jay Carman, CEO of Standfast Group LLC in Carol Stream, Illinois, and the current Chairman of AICC, the Independent Packaging Association, once stated during an interview, “You don’t feel alone when you’re a member of AICC.”

These are indeed strange times. Nearly all 50 states have some form of restrictions in place on their populations and everyone has had to grapple with what it means to be an essential business, be they an owner or an employee. Apart from social distancing, these can also be lonely times.

Mike D’Angelo

Since a Coronavirus pandemic was declared in mid-March, box mak- ers and their suppliers have been turning to AICC to provide them with the information they can use to make decisions for their businesses, their employees, their customers and their partners. On Tuesday, March 17, and each weekday since then, AICC has posted a Daily Packaging Industry Update at its web site at . At this site, AICC has kept members informed on each states’ an- nouncements regarding sheltering in place and bans on certain busi- nesses; how to navigate the various legislative packages that have come from the Federal government; and tips and best practices from fellow members. With its partners the National Association of Manufac- turers (NAM) and the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), AICC has actively advocated for language protecting the essential nature of paper-based packaging manufacturers and their supply chain. Virtually all states today consider these industries part of the “critical infrastructure” of the country. The box plants and their suppliers have responded with members across the country handling the surge from the food, hygienic, medical supply and pharmaceutical industries. AICC members have always been open with their information and best practices, never more so than in a crisis. AICC hosts a videoconfer- ence each Friday for members to ask and answer questions related to the coronavirus and its affect on operations. This peer-to-peer exchange in real time has occurred four times to date and each has drawn in ex- cess of 300 attendees. Another tool AICC has provided members has been free webinars. Christine Walters of FiveL LLC walked members through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) obligations and answered sev- eral questions on how to handle employees concerns, as well as Depart- ment of Labor rules relative to taking temperatures. A week later, Mitch Klingher of Klingher Nadler Associates was the featured presenter on the tax implications of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARE) Act and the opportunity presented by the Paycheck Protection Program of Small Business Association (SBA) loans. Finally, but not surprisingly, use of AICC’s Packaging School, an ex- clusive AICC member benefit which offers free online industry education in the form of mor than 80 courses in English and Spanish, exploded in March. Log-ins to the Packaging School site were up 353 percent com- pared to the previous March. We all face a challenge from the virus. AICC members are not alone in this challenge. They have their Association to bring them together in good times and in bad. Jay Carman didn’t know how prophetic his words would be.


April 20, 2020

Amtech Asks: Are You Ready For The New Way Of Doing Business? Organizations are changing how they do business. COVID-19 has quickly shown us this in a few short weeks. From quarantines to government stimulus, organizations are fundamentally having to change how they operate. For a lot of packaging businesses, production has increased forcing the need to quickly scale. For other businesses, it means having to be more creative, efficient and adaptive. Amtech is no stranger to helping businesses adjust to changes like this. For over 40 years we have been deploy- ing proven solutions that support today’s new business world. If you don’t have the right solutions in place, now is the time to get ahead with our agile business solutions: • Quickly transition in-office workers to remote workers in 24-48 hours

• Deliver network and data security solutions to protect against the recent uptick in breeches and ransomware • Ensure maximum uptime and easy, remote access of systems with our cloud hosting solutions • Provide an intuitive, web-based platform for easy re- mote worker access • Deliver portals which allows your customers to place orders/re-orders online • Streamline messy paper-based workflows into orga- nized electronic workflows for quick, online access • Algorithmic scheduling for corrugated, converting and shipping to get ahead of the increased surge of orders • Effortlessly revamp pricing models for now and the fu- ture Whether you are an Amtech customer or not, don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from being wildly suc- cessful in this new economy. This new way of doing busi- ness isn’t going to happen sometime in the new future. It is

happening now. Get ahead and stay ahead. For more information, contact Darren Artil- lio at Case Paper Acquires Assets Of API Laminating In IN Harrison, New York based Case Paper an- nounced that it has acquired the assets of the former API Laminating operation of Steel Partners in Osgood, Indiana. The deal closed on April 1, 2020, and the General Manager of the facility, Jonathan Hummer, as well as most of the office and plant employees, have joined the Case family under the new name “Case Makes.” “Prior to the acquisition this site had be- come our most reliable partner in terms of communication and quality,” said Robin Schaffer, President and CEO of Case Paper. “This is a testament to the employees and processes they currently have in place, and the reason why this is a perfect fit for Case Paper and our long term vision to consistent- ly add value to customers through invento- ries, converting equipment and people.” As a leader in laminating and coating, Case Makes’ 117,000-square-foot operation perfectly complements and adds to Case Pa- per’s six national converting and distribution facilities.” “Laminating, coating, and transfer metalli- zation are just a few of the converting capa- bilities we have strategically envisioned for adding innovation to the future of Case Pa- per. As of today, that strategic vision is now a reality,” said Simon Schaffer, Chief Marketing Officer at Case Paper.

BW Papersystems Marquip Ward United


April 20, 2020

CompanyBox Donates 100,000 Secure Takeout Boxes For Food Use Charlotte, North Carolina based CompanyBox announced that it has developed a secure takeout box and will do- nate 100,000 boxes to any local Charlotte restaurants who would like to use them. The Secure Takeout Box™ has a single use seal, which keeps the food securely in- side until the recipient removes the adhesive tear strip. “Restaurants have been asked to close their doors to patrons,” said Louie DeJesus, CEO of CompanyBox. “Oth- er small businesses who are part of the restaurant supply chain are also suffering. Businesses like farms, bakeries, breweries and wineries” “The only way many of these businesses will survive these difficult times is through offering takeout and delivery, but people may be ap- prehensive about receiving food deliveries. We decided to respond. Our hope is that this added peace of mind drives more takeout orders and helps all those involved.” CompanyBox President, Kyle DeJesus adds, “We’re starting this pilot program in our beloved city of Char- lotte with donated hours from our staff, but are looking for ways to get support from others to expand the reach. We envision this working extremely well for food pantries as well.” Free curbside pick-up will be offered for locals. A de- livery option with shipping fees is also an option.

Delivering ultra-high performance S-Board ™ liner and medium grades and world-class technical service. Bonus: those boxes make really awesome places to play

BCN(US)202003(o)(出血5mm).pdf 1 2020/4/6 下午 01:37:15










April 20, 2020

PMMI Launches NAM Health Care To Address Member Coverage Needs PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, announced last week it would offer an as- sociation health plan to its members, extending afford- able health care to small and medium-sized manufactur- ing companies in approved states. In states where the association health plan is not available, PMMI will con- nect manufacturers with available small-group options in their states. The plan, called NAM (The National Association of Man- ufacturers) Health Care, was developed to meet the unique health care needs of manufacturers. It will offer a portfolio of health benefits options insured by UnitedHealthcare. In states where these plans are available, businesses with two to 99 employees will be able to choose from a variety of PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) health plans. Members will also have access to UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus care provider network of more than 1.3 mil- lion physicians and care professionals, 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Under NAM Health Care, eligible member companies will also have access to supplemental benefits, including dental, vision and life. UnitedHealthcare will work with any licensed and ap- pointed agents who want to sell NAM Health Care.

“PMMI is excited to partner with NAM to provide a benefit offering to our small employer members that is often unavailable or unaffordable,” says Jim Pittas, Pres- ident and CEO, PMMI. “The NAM Health Care plan cre- ates greater purchasing power for these companies that would be unattainable for smaller employers.” Mercer will provide PMMI small-business members that elect Mercer as their agent of record with consult- ing services regarding health benefit offerings and con- tribution strategies, marketing support to sign up and enroll their employees, plan administration and compli- ance consulting services. Member employer groups may continue to work through their current agents and obtain quotes through the NAM Health Care offering. The Mercer Affinity 365+SM platform will provide members technology for obtaining quotes for employee benefits, facilitating enrollment and providing ongoing benefits administration to help drive cost efficiencies and employee engagement. Mercer is quoting these plans for eligible member groups for a May 1 enrollment date. To request a quote for these plans, where available, interested businesses may visit NAM Health Care is an industry-based Association Health Plan (AHP) that’s fully ACA-compliant, adminis- tered by Mercer and sponsored by NAM, of which PMMI is an affiliate member. Medical, Dental, Vision and Life insurance are underwritten by UnitedHealthcare.

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April 20, 2020

BUSINESSES ACROSS NORTH AMERICA ARE GROWING WITH More than 150 EVOL machines have been sold across North America.

GROWING 27% increase in warehouse and parts storage capacity to

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CORRUGATING MACHINERY DIVISION 11204 McCormick Road Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1101

AICC To Offer Virtual Training On Navigating CRM Options

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is offer- ing a webinar to help members continue to train their workforce and improve productivity and planning without traveling. The webinar “Navigating CRM Options” will be held on Thursday, April 30, at 3:00 p.m. EST. Led by Todd Ziel- inski, Managing Director & CEO, Athena SWC, LLC, this webinar is designed for those who are considering im- plementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system or have one that is not being used effectively to manage the sales pipeline. Attendees will be introduced to the fundamentals of CRM systems as it relates to the sales function; arm them with information on how to in- troduce, implement, and maintain a CRM system, as well as provide a comparison of three popular CRM systems. Zielinski is a Partner and the Managing Director/CEO at Athena SWC, LLC, Amherst, NY. As one of the co-found- ers of Athena, he is responsible for the marketing, sales, and management of Athena’s outsourced marketing and sales support offering and consulting services. This webinar is free to AICC Emerging Leaders and $100 for other AICC members. More information can be found at or by contacting Taryn Pyle at or (703) 836-2422.

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Q: I laid off several workers two weeks ago. Do I have to pay them for leave if they have COVID-19? A: No. As discussed above, to be eligible under these laws, the COVID-19-related reason needs to be the cause of the employee’s inability to work. In this example, the layoff (lack of work) is the reason the employee is not able to work. In addition, if an employee is laid off, they are no longer employed by your business and no longer entitled to leave benefits in any event. Q: My employee’s child is out of school for the next few weeks. The employee has been able to work remotely by sharing childcare with her spouse, but her spouse was called away to work as an emergency responder. If the employee can work fewer than her normal hours but is still able to work, does she get paid leave? A: It depends on what is mutually agreed upon. The DOL rules suggest that intermittent leave can be arranged if the employee and the company agree. The parties are en- couraged to be flexible about finding practical solutions to intermittent leave questions. Again, questions of inter- mittent leave, particularly for employees doing telework, are complex and should be carefully considered with the advice of counsel. Q: My employee has been teleworking for a few weeks and now came down with COVID-19. Does she get leave? A: It depends. If the employee’s illness prevents her from working, she could be eligible for leave for the amount of hours she had been teleworking if she can no longer work those hours. If she is asymptomatic and willing and able to work, then possibly not, although a decision to deny leave to someone who has COVID-19 is highly risky, so counsel should be consulted prior to taking action. In any event, the employee and employer should maintain open the lines of communication, as the virus takes it toll on differ- ent people in different ways and the situation is dynamic. Q: My employee is having COVID-type symptoms. Can I require her to confirm a positive test result confirmed by a doctor’s note before paying for her leave? A. No, you do not need to required a positive test re- sult. However, when someone seeks leave for their own COVID-19 related reason, the employer must provide the name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order or the name of the health care provider who advised the Employee to self-quarantine due to con- cerns related to COVID–19. In addition to some basic in- formation (name, dates of leave), employees need to pro- vide a written statement confirming the reason they are seeking leave, and that they are unable to work due to this reason. For other types of leaves, employees must submit other information. As a reminder, businesses can obtain tax credits for these paid leave payments, so it’s particular-

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ly important to ensure the documentation meets the IRS’s requirements to ensure eligibility for those tax credits. Q: I recently cut pay for all my staff. Can I pay an employ- ee on leave at that new, lowered rate? A: No. The payment for FFCRA leave is based on a “look- back” approach: this is calculated using an average of hours and pay over the 6 months prior to the leave be- ing taken. This should be undertaken carefully to ensure accuracy, particularly for employees who have a complex compensation structure (such as commissions). Q: My business is small and we’re really suffering here. Is there any relief? A: Small businesses (under 50 employees) can avoid pro- viding the childcare-related leave, if any of the below fac- tors are met: • Providing leave would economically threaten the busi- ness’ ability to operate; • The employee has a specialized role in the business and the absence would threaten the Company’s finan- cial health or operations; or • The employer can’t find enough replacement workers to cover for the employee requesting an absence. This analysis should be undertaken closely with coun- sel and documented appropriately. Q: I believe my business is exempt from the leave re- quirements under the federal law; can I just deny the leave? A: Not automatically. Each leave situation should be care- fully analyzed. While there are exclusions to the federal leave law for employees and businesses working on com- batting COVID-19 (primarily but not exclusively in health- care), many states have enacted their own laws to address issues surrounding this pandemic, and may not have the same exclusions as the federal law. In addition, the pre-ex- isting legal framework (such as the regular FMLA, state family leave laws, and disability protections) could also ap- ply to a given leave situation. If after a detailed legal analy- sis, employers believe they have grounds to deny a leave of absence (or refuse to pay for the leave), they should document why they believe a particular leave of absence is not covered. In Conclusion: Tread Carefully The stakes here are high, with the potential for signif- icant liability (unpaid wages, liquidated damages, attor- neys’ fees and costs), so these issues should be carefully analyzed with experienced counsel. If you have any spe- cific questions or concerns, please contact counsel. Joel J. Greenwald, Esq. is Managing Partner at Greenwald Doherty LLP. Reach him at (845) 589-9300 x108 or via e-mail at


April 20, 2020

FSC Misleads Canadians, Smears Paper Packaging BY JOHN MULLINDER An open letter to Francois Dufresne, President and CEO of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Canada: Dear Mr. Dufresne: I recognize that FSC is in a three-way fight for market share in the forest and paper certification business, and that part of that fight is your recent launch of a new video plug for FSC aimed at the users of paper packaging. Actually, as a commercial it’s not bad. Congratula- tions. Except for the big lie, or maybe I should say the totally misleading perception that the video leaves about paper packaging and deforestation. Because your slick commercial perpetuates a forestry myth, broadly smear- ing the Canadian packaging industry in the process. The video begins well though. Some “70 percent of consumers want the packaging of the products they buy to be sourced responsibly.” Couldn’t agree more. Wish it was higher. The good news is that every mill member of PPEC already has proof of responsible sourcing: in- dependent third-party chain-of-custody certification as to where its fibre comes from, whether recycled or virgin. But then comes the smear. “Paper, board and bioplas- tics can be a result of deforestation or poor forestry prac-

tices.” Can be? What does that mean? Could be? Or may- be, might not be? Which is it? And where’s the evidence, the examples, for this link you make between packaging and deforestation? Unfortunately, your video doesn’t pro- vide any. Just smears everyone. Like saying all the Duch- esnes in the world could be, could be, child abusers. I am sure they are not, but you get the point. When you posted your commercial on Linked-In, I challenged you to provide specific examples of situations where trees used for packaging were harvested from forests that were not later regrown. Because that’s the law in Canada, as you know, Mr. Dufresne. Any provincial (crown) forest land that’s harvested must be successful- ly regenerated afterwards, either naturally or artificially (through tree planting or direct seeding). A week went by with no answer, and then you posted the clip again. This time I pointed out (as if you didn’t already know) that the United Nations does not consider deforestation to have occurred when a forest is returned to forest. That is, when it remains as forest and is not con- verted to non-forest uses such as agriculture, oil and gas projects, hydro-electric development, residential subdivi- sions, and so on. But you already know this. You acknowledged this when you responded to my second Linked-In comment, and it’s posted on your website: “Deforestation, clear- ance or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

. . . IS NOW ONLINE! Please visit:


April 20, 2020

FSC Misleads (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)


trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-for- est use.” And how much of Canada’s forest land was converted to non-forest use in the latest data year? According to Natural Resources Canada, about 37,000 hectares or just 0.01 percent. And how much of that conversion of forest land to non-forest land was the forest industry respon- sible for? Well, a smidge under 1400 hectares. Do the math. That means that the forest industry’s deforestation rate was a mere 0.0004 percent. Yes, that’s three zeroes and a four. But that’s the total forest and paper industries com- bined (lumber, pulp, newsprint, everybody). What about packaging’s contribution? Well it may come as a surprise to you, Mr. Duchesne, but hardly any freshly-cut trees are used to make paper packaging in Canada at all. In fact, most boxes and cartons made by Canadian mills are 100 percent recycled content. So basically, they are not re- sponsible for any deforestation. Nada. So why are you smearing the paper packaging industry in Canada and their customers with this deforestation BS? Why are you perpetuating this myth? It’s inaccurate, dishonest, and a smear on the whole Canadian industry. Oh no, we meant global forests, you say, referring to an article (written over 10 years ago!) about the 10 coun- tries with the worst deforestation rates in the world (not including Canada, of course). I’m sorry Mr. Duchesne, but that’s not good enough. You posted this as President and CEO of FSC Canada, and the video is proudly displayed on the FSC Canada website. People are entitled to as- sume you are talking about Canada. The buck stops with you. If FSC Canada wants to have any credibility with the paper packaging industry and its customers, I would strongly suggest that you immediately remove any ref- erence to deforestation in your commercial. And I will be among the first to commend you for your honesty. Sincerely, John Mullinder, Executive Director, PPEC John Mullinder is Executive Director of the Paper and Pa- perboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC), which represents over 90 percent of the Canadian paper pack-


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aging industry on environmental is- sues. The council was founded by four separate sectors of the indus- try (packaging mills and converters) back in 1990, allowing them to work together and speak with one voice rather than several. Its Board of Di- rectors is representative of the four

John Mullinder

different sectors and the council operates on a consensus basis. PPEC lobbies governments; networks with other in- dustry players; co-ordinates action industry-wide; devel- ops practical solutions; and promotes the environmental performance and achievements of the industry.


April 20, 2020

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