Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject the company’s latest contract proposal.  Voting took place throughout the day during three meetings held at 10:30 A.M., 3:00 P.M., and 5:30 P.M at the Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila.

“Darigold is disrespecting its workers and undermining the bargaining process,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.  “The company broke the law when they walked away from federal mediation, leaving no one with the authority to bargain.  They have spied on workers and illegally attempted to circumvent the union.”

The Union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the NLRB, alleging bad-faith bargaining by the company, illegal surveillance of workers, retaliatory firing of two employees and dealing directly with workers over key issues. Bargaining between the union and the employer began in April, and continued throughout the summer, but talks broke down after the company allegedly violated federal law. 

“This company continues to try to intimidate its workers. Last week, Darigold sent letters home to its workers encouraging them to withdraw from the union and threatened a lockout by saying that it would operate without union workers. We have proposed new bargaining dates in a good-faith effort to reach an agreement, but Darigold continues to drag its feet,” Thompson said. 

Darigold is owned by over 700 members of the Northwest Dairy Association.  Workers at the Issaquah plant make butter, sour cream, and cottage cheese, while workers in Seattle process hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk every year, supplying Costco, Walmart, and many other grocery stores throughout the Pacific Northwest.  The company’s annual sales are over $2.0 billion.

Teamsters 117 represents 220 workers at the company’s Seattle and Issaquah plants and 16,000 total workers across Washington State.

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