Features, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National, Retail

RWDSU Wins Union Vote at Iowa General Mills Plant

January 15, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—More than 500 workers at a General Mills cereal plant in Cedar Rapids voted Jan. 9 to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Workers Union’s Local 110. “Everyone is still very grateful and thankful for our jobs at General Mills,” Tim Sarver, a worker there for 36 years, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We decided to organize a campaign after… we noticed there had been a trend over the years of slowly having benefits cut away.” Those included the company’s increasing use of lower-paid workers from temp agencies and its cutting the amount of paid sick time from five days a year to three, he said. The RWDSU began organizing in earnest about four months ago, said vice president Roger Grobstich. Almost 60% of the plant’s production, sanitation, and maintenance workers voted in favor of the union, Sarver said, after a “respectful campaign” in which organizers promised anti-union workers that they wouldn’t call them at home. Local 110 also represents workers at the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids and Coles Quality Foods in North Liberty. Read more

January 15, 2019

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