The Labor Tribune

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Holten Meat strikers begin 24-hour picketing

March 20, 2017 by admin in Labor News From Our Region with 0 Comments

East St Louis – FIRST STRIKE in UFCW Local 655’s history of over 30 years at Holten Meat Co. began last Saturday after the company refused to negotiate seniority standards in their contact. The company has not allowed senior employees on night shift to move up to day shift openings but instead would hire new workers off the street for the day jobs. Workers are making the point: this is not acceptable at all.

Currently, 60-plus people are on picket line

Sauget, IL – Strikers at the Holten Meat Co., 1682 Sauget Business Blvd., Sauget, Ill., today extended their picketing to 24 hours daily, with more than 60 members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655 employed at Holten turning out on today’s picket line, announced Garry Torpea, Local 655’s Director of Collective Bargaining.

The strike began Saturday after the union’s members rejected a second company contract proposal by a 75 percent margin and authorized an immediate strike. Picket lines went up immediately.

“To emphasize how strongly our members feel about this, we are instituting around-the-clock picketing,” Torpea said.

The key issue is not economics, but a quality of life issue that will not allow a night shift worker to bid on a day job when it becomes available. Currently, Holten often hires new workers for the day jobs ignoring more veteran workers who can do the work, added Local 655 President David Cook.

The company refuses to recognize that quality of life issue in the contract, thus seriously impacting a worker’s job mobility.

“Holten Meat doesn’t want to show them the respect they deserve and give them the chance to advance on the job. We believe hard-working employees who have been with a company for years have earned consideration from their employer.”

24-hour picketing shifts have been established and implemented.

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