CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - According to BCTGM 100G President Mike Moore, a dispute over the rules for maintenance workers, employees’ roles in the workplace, and consequences for actions on the picket line are separating BCTGM 100G and Ingredion from entering into a new contract.
Union workers at Ingredion’s Cedar Rapids plant spent their 150th day on the picket line this week as their strike, which started on August 1, likely continues into 2023.
According to a fact sheet from Ingredion, the latest offer includes wage increases ranging from 3% to 8.5%. The latest offer also gives employees the choice to accept their current 8-hour schedule or move to a 12-hour option and doubles the number of long weekends and increases the number of scheduled days off.
“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,” Ingredion said in a written statement made in early December.
Moore said Ingredion wants to change maintenance workers’ schedule to four, 12-hour days and eliminate overtime. He said the union disagrees with those rules for those workers, like Jeff Blazek.
Blazek, who said he’s a maintenance worker for Ingredion, said he’s been frustrated it’s taking this long for the company to create a contract the Union considers fair. He said he’s using his savings for his expenses because strike pay isn’t enough money and doesn’t want to find a new job.
Moore said many union employees have already found different jobs to supplement their strike pay, which is around $200. He also said possible consequences for employees’ actions on the picket line and Ingredion wanting employees to learn an additional job are stopping a deal from being completed.
“The most frustrating part is having my members out here when they could be back in there working and not being able to sit at the table and work this out,” Moore said.