Teamsters Local 662 members at New Dairy Select Milk (NDSM), a subsidiary of Borden Dairy, formerly known as Morning Glory, have gone on strike to protest alleged unfair labor practices at the company. The workers produce sour cream for a number of well-known brands, including Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Hello Fresh.
“Borden Dairy is saying ‘take it or leave it,’” said Tom Strickland, Local 662 secretary-treasurer. “The employer isn’t bargaining in good faith; this offer is terrible and concessionary. We’re not going to take it.”
Negotiations have reached a stand-off over the company’s refusal to reach a compromise on the workers’ health care coverage. Local 662 is pushing for the workers to join a Teamster health care plan, which would offer better coverage at a lower rate for both parties. Borden Dairy is demanding that the workers receive the company’s health care coverage, which would force them to pay higher premiums and deductibles and come out-of-pocket for a wide variety of services that would be covered under a Teamster plan.
“There are more than 1 million workers covered under Teamster health care plans, and hundreds of employers are signatories to them – including other Borden facilities,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters western region vice president and food processing division director. “This posturing makes no sense, and the company needs to give its workers what they deserve.”
Workers are currently picketing outside of the company’s facility in De Pere, Wis.
NDSM, a joint venture between New Dairy Co. and Select Milk Producers, issued a response to Dairy Foods. Select Milk is a farmer-owned company and its farmers supply raw milk to the DePere facility.
The response is presented in full below.
"NDSM is disappointed that our employees (members of Teamsters Local 662) recently rejected our proposed new labor contract and have decided to strike. Throughout this process, the company has listened carefully to the members' concerns and requests. As a result, the company offered a very competitive new contract that significantly increases key items requested by our employees to include above-market pay and benefits.
"While NDSM did not want a strike, we will continue to provide our products and services to our customers with the same great service they expect. It is our hope that the union and our employees will reconsider our proposal in the days ahead so we can finalize a contract and move forward together."