Ingredion workers on strike ask county officials to address safety concerns with replacement workers
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A large crowd marched from the Ingredion plant to the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center on Thursday evening, as the union workers continue their nearly two-month-long strike.
They’re negotiating for better pay and hours, and protections of their health care options. Negotiations with Ingredion were expected to resume last week but were put on hold after union negotiators objected to Ingredion arriving with six-armed security guards.
Now, union leaders say they have concerns that the workers replacing them aren’t properly trained. They are asking Linn County officials to look into questions about replacement workers handling toxic chemicals in the plant as the strike goes on, as well as calling on Ingredion to negotiate a fair contract so skilled workers can return.
“We have hazards chemicals inside the plant,” Mike Moore, president of BCTGM Local 100-G, said. “The five people who are qualified to unload those chemicals are standing out here in the street.”
Two of the three Linn County Supervisors provided statements at the rally in support of the striking workers.
A spokesperson for Ingredion responded to the claims regarding training concerns, saying “Our employees are trained on our safety protocols and procedures just as any new employee working in our facility.”
Next week union workers say they’re taking their picketing to Ingredion’s headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Westchester, Ill. They plan to deliver a list of demands to Ingredion management.
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