Teamster production workers and lab technicians, employed by Darigold, met throughout the day today to discuss the company’s last contract proposal.  The Union challenged the notion that the negotiations process is exhausted and called on Darigold to return to the bargaining table immediately.

“Darigold did not engage in meaningful bargaining during federal mediation on October 18,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.  “We’re calling on Darigold to stop breaking the law and to return to the bargaining table so that we can reach a fair settlement.”

Last week, Darigold sent copies of the proposal to its employees’ homes and held mandatory meetings with workers to review the proposal. “I’ve been with Darigold for over 25 years, and Darigold wants to hire up temps who can bump me from my job,” said Henning Jensen, a production worker at Darigold’s facility in Seattle.

Early this evening, the Union sent a letter to Darigold requesting information and asking the company to return to the bargaining table.

"During the course of our meetings, a number of issues were raised by our members regarding the Company’s proposal, the captive audience meetings, and other changes occurring at the facilities.  The Union would like to schedule additional bargaining dates to discuss these issues with the Company and to continue the bargaining process,” the letter read.

The Union remains optimistic that the parties can reach a negotiated settlement. “We have repeatedly told Darigold that we don’t want a labor dispute, we want a negotiated contract.  We hope that Darigold will follow the lead of the big grocery employers and act responsibly so that we can achieve a contract proposal that is agreeable to the company and our members,” Thompson said.