Tri States Public Radio Staff
Vote to Protect Pensions
Mon January 7, 2013
Pinnacle Employees Authorize Strike
Employees of a Fort Madison industry say they are taking a stand to protect their futures.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 617, has been negotiating with the leadership at Pinnacle Foods on a new employment contract since September.
The two sides have agreed to extend the current contract, but that extension expires in less than one week.
In response, the union, which has more than 400 members, has voted to authorize a strike, but no date has been set at this point.
Local 617 President Darin Boatman says the strike vote is in response to a plan to eliminate pensions as part of the new contract.
He says he hopes this strike vote sends a strong message to the company and moves the negotiation process to a successful conclusion.
Boatman says he is trying to establish new times and dates to meet with Pinnacle Foods.
Requests for comment from Pinnacle Foods were not immediately returned.
The strike vote came nearly one-year to the day that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad visited the plant to celebrate a roughly 18,000 square foot expansion.
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