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Quaker Oat workers ratify new contract

The Quaker Oats sign at the company’s plant in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
The Quaker Oats sign at the company’s plant in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Workers at Quaker Oats ratified a contract Thursday locking in annual wage increases and other benefits. Nearly 700 union workers — members of Local 110 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union — ratified the contract following three votes, according to an announcement from the union.

The employees work in production at the facility, which produces and supplies most of America’s Quaker Oats products, the union said.

“Our worker-led negotiations team secured a contract that ensures our community can thrive for years to come. We are incredibly proud of what they have done here,” said Shane Forbes, president of Local 110.

The four-year contract includes annual general hourly wage increases equaling 10% over the four-year term, and workers also will receive a signing bonus. The contract also includes provisions for vacation time and holiday hours.

The union also represents 520 employees at General Mills’ Cedar Rapids manufacturing facility. Those union members rejected a contract Wednesday and were scheduled to meet with General Mills representatives Thursday to continue negotiations.

If an agreement can’t be reached, employees will have no choice but to go on strike, union leaders said during a news conference Wednesday.

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