Holten Meat Workers Vote to Strike
SAUGET, IL/March 21, 2017 (STL.News) After three months of negotiations, union workers at Holten Meat’s plant in Sauget, Illinois, have decided to strike. The recent vote comes after employees rejected a previous proposal in February. A three-year contract expired in September and was extended during negotiations. The secret ballot vote to strike was 124 to 38.
The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655 had advocated for the employees to reject the new contract proposal and rather authorize a strike. Sauget, Illinois-based Holten Meat is owned by Branding Iron Holdings Inc., one of the leading privately owned companies in the region. In 2016, they had revenue of $400 million.
The main issue at hand is over seniority language relating to job flexibility. According to the Local 655, night-shift workers at Holten are not allowed to use their seniority to bid for an open day-shift job.
The Holten Meat manufacturer, that employs more than 300 employees, said in a statement that they believe they proposed a fair and equitable contract offer to the Union and their Plant employees and are disappointed by the recent decision. They said the company would strive to resolve the matter in a timely matter.