Teamster strikers in Iowa attract Sens. Edwards, Clinton

Union workers at a Cargill corn-milling plant in Cedar Rapids will remain on strike at least until early next week, union officials said. About 100 workers went on strike Monday after their union rejected Cargill's contract offer. Teamsters Local 238 has contended several issues, including Cargill's plan to outsource about 15 maintenance positions at the plant and convert two positions into salaried positions that would not be covered by the union contract.

The first negotiating session between Cargill and the union is scheduled for Monday, according to Teamsters Local 238 business agent Dave Elliott.

Meanwhile, the workers could get some company at the picket lines this weekend from some presidential candidates, including Democrats John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York. Edwards' staff confirmed plans to visit the picket line Saturday afternoon.

Cargill has expressed regret over the union's rejection of the contract but has not commented on its negotiating position. The company has continued to operate the plant using nonunion workers.

The strike does not affect the company's other businesses in Iowa.

Minnesota-based Cargill makes food ingredients, moves commodities around the world and runs financial commodities trading businesses. It is one of the nation's largest privately held companies, with 158,000 workers in 66 countries.

Cargill employs about 4,000 Iowans in 12 businesses in 20 communities.


1 comment:

bettync said...

I'm glad Edwards is going to the picket line to show his support. He talks about the importance of supporting unions everywhere he goes, and actually going to this picket line will show that he is serious. He, (and his wife Elizabeth), have walked picket lines before, and it helps bring attention to the needs of the workers on strike. I hope this strike will be settled soon, with the workers getting everything they are asking for.

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