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After five months, strike continues at Ingredion Cedar Rapids
‘We thought we had a deal,’ local union president says
CEDAR RAPIDS — Union workers still are in negotiations with Ingredion officials to end their strike against the company’s Cedar Rapids facility, according to the union president.
After a round of negotiations Dec. 4 with officials from the multinational ingredients maker, “we thought we had a deal” to end the strike, which began Aug. 1, according to Mike Moore, the principal and president of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 100G.
Moore on Thursday told The Gazette the main points of contention — narrowed down from the original 26 — are:
- A proposed schedule change for the maintenance department.
- Pay scale for paid time off.
- Requirements for workers to learn an additional job.
- An amnesty clause to protect striking workers from discipline.
“We’re real close,” Moore said. “We just have these couple open items and this amnesty (clause) that are holding us from walking back in this place. It’s good negotiations, and we thought we were going to have a deal, but they’re holding tight on these issues.”
No additional conversations have been scheduled, he said, but Ingredion officials have been invited to negotiate at any time.
“My members are holding tight,” Moore said.
Becca Hary, Ingredion corporate communications director, wrote in an email that the company has remained “in close communication with union leadership with the assistance of a negotiator. … and we’re hopeful they present the latest proposal to their members.”
She pointed to a December news release from Ingredion, which said the company’s latest offer “incorporated feedback from the union and included numerous adjustments to our previous proposals and achieved many mutually beneficial items, including increased pay, growth opportunities and an enhanced benefits package.”
“In response to the work stoppage, we enacted our business continuity plan and are continuing to operate the facility to fulfill our customers’ orders and mitigate the impact on our operations,” the statement continued. “Our top priority is the safety and security of our employees operating the facility, the community members of Cedar Rapids and our suppliers making deliveries to our facility.
“As we have formally communicated to the union, Ingredion stands ready to further our discussions with the objective of reaching an agreement that is fair and allows for the opportunity to sustainably build on the facility’s proud 128-year history.”
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