Dairy Processor News / Top 100
Labor pains

Darigold, Teamsters lock horns over health care costs

Rowe said union members are currently paying 5% of health care costs. Darigold has assured the union that they would not pay more than 10%.

September 18, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Darigold Inc., Seattle, disputed the assertion made by the Teamsters today that it walked out of federal mediation talks late Monday night. Darigold General Counsel and Senior Vice President Steven Rowe told Dairy Foods that some members of the dairy cooperative's team did leave the meeting but continued to participate by telephone after they arrived home. Rowe said the bargaining session lasted from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A press release from Teamsters Local 117 today said Darigold's action set "the stage for a potential lockout or strike at the company’s production facilities in Issaquah and Seattle." Teamsters 117 represents 220 workers at the two plants.

Rowe said the parties have made "great progress" and have agreed on wages. The sticking point is health care. Rowe said union members are currently paying 5% of health care costs. Darigold has assured the union that they would not pay more than 10%. Rowe added that non-union employees (including himself) are paying far more than 5%.

According to a Teamsters' press release, "talks broke down when Darigold insisted on significantly increasing the amount workers pay for their health care. On August 18, the workers voted 130-1 to authorize a strike. "

“They want to undermine our health care,” said Henning Jensen, a 25-year employee. “Nobody wants to strike, but we will stand our ground and do what we need to do to protect our families’ well-being.”

"We're a co-op owned by dairy farmers. I have tremendous respect for the people who work in our plants and respect for my owners," Rowe said.

Darigold is owned by the Northwest Dairy Association, consisting of 525 dairy farmers. Darigold ranks No. 14 on the Dairy 100, Dairy Food's annual ranking of the top dairy processors based in the United States and Canada. The co-op reported revenues of $2.2 billion in the year ended March 2013.
 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Dairy Foods Magazine. 
You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Agropur, Natrel Division USA, St. Paul, Minn.

 At its Natrel Division plant in St. Paul, Minn, Agropur makes rBST-free white and flavored milk, heavy whipping cream, half n half, buttermilk, organic milk, nutritional drinks and shakes and sport drinks. Nondairy beverages (soy, rice, coconut, and almond) coffee creamers, broth and sauces. 

BehindtheScenes

This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

6/19/14 2:00 pm EDT

Build a Better Cheese

On Demand Professor John A. Lucey of the University of Wisconsin, Madison will cover defects in cheese, improving yield with processing techniques to get the most from the ingredients you've paid for, the regulatory scene, and the future.

Ice Cream

What’s your favorite way to eat ice cream?
View Results Poll Archive

Dairy Foods Magazine

dairy foods july 2014

2014 July

Read the 2014 Buyers Guide and Sourcebook, your one source for ingredients, equipment and packaging.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE DAIRY FOODS STORE

tharp-and-young-on-icecream.gif
Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Dairy Foods Buyers Guide

cover df july 2013Resource for buyers in the dairy processing industry to find information on the leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Find Ingredients, Equipment, Distribution, R&D and More.

Start Your Search Today.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube logo 40px 2-12-13  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13google plus