Union representing Ingredion employees on strike meeting with company next week
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Local BCTGM union announced they would be meeting with Ingredion to negotiate a new contract for the 120 Cedar Rapids Ingredion employees on strike.
This is the first company protest since 2004.
The employees have been on the picket line for 17 days after turning down the last contract offered by the company. Union leaders said the pay increase of 4.5-7.3% for all union employees wasn’t enough and worried about potential 12-hour shifts, and diminished health care offerings and forced overtime.
“Anytime that you’re forced into a labor dispute or forced to strike, and make no mistake, we were forced, there’s going to be angst,” said International Union Representative Jason Davis.
Davis said negotiation issues started in 2015 when Ingredion purchased the company and have continued to this point.
Ingredion said the contract would have created new positions for hourly employees and offered a more comprehensive health care and benefits package than the current one, but Gronewold and his co-workers voted unanimously against that contract, saying they deserve more and were going to continue fighting for it.
“We’re going to stay out here and stand in the streets,” said Luke Gronewold, an employee on the picket line. “We’re going to need something that’s fair and that we can live with.”
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