The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union’s Local 110 which represents more than 500 workers at the General Mills plant in Cedar Rapids has reached a tentative contract agreement with the company, narrowly avoiding a strike.
The union says the contract could be ratified as early as Nov. 14. A negotiations committee expects workers to vote in favor of the agreement.
The tentative agreement comes after workers threatened to strike if the company did not meet the union’s needs. Union members said they never wanted to walk out. The union has not released the details of the latest agreement.
In General Mills’ previous offer last week, the union said the proposed contract did not include a significant pay increase, did not allow employees to maintain their benefits and took away overtime and premium pay. It also reportedly included unfair scheduling practices.
Union members said they needed the company to move on four parts of the contract before being able to reach an agreement. The union said its employees would walk out if the company could not meet is requests. The union never revealed what the four parts included.
On Thursday, union members appeared with General Mills leaders, saying conversations had been productive.This is the first contract the RWDSU Local 110 is negotiating with General Mills. About 520 workers joined the union in January 2019. Members say that by standing together and showing the real impact this could have on families, they have shown what having a union is all about.