CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – The Local 110 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has stated today that almost 700 workers at the Quaker Oats processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa have approved a new contract.
The worker-led negotiation committee worked to secure a strong contract that guarantees annual wage increases among other provisions that RWDSU states will improve workers’ jobs and their work-life balance.
The workers in the bargaining unit handle production at the facility, which produces and supplies majority of America’s Quaker Oats products. Iowa is a Right-to-Work state, and the RWDSU has 100% union density at the Quaker facility. Everyone in the bargaining unit is a proud union member.
Maurice Anderson, an 18 year employee, had this to say:
“Working at Quaker Oats knowing we have a strong union contract makes my family feel secure. In this contract our union has ensured workers here remain strong. We are proud to be the economic engine of our community especially at a facility that has been operating here for over a hundred years. Today we ratified a contract that I know will ensure I can support my family – that matters. Our negotiations team led by my coworkers did an incredible job swiftly ensuring our wages and benefits would grow for years to come,”
Here is another quote from Shane Forbes (President of Local 110 of the RWDSU):
“Our worker-led negotiations team secured a contract that ensures our community can thrive for years to come. We are incredibly proud of what they have done here. Workers at Quaker Oats have made the brand what it is today. In this contract the company has shown that they know that our union members have fueled their growth. Quaker Oats has shown that it’s possible to be a responsible employer in Cedar Rapids, other companies should learn from them,”
The Quaker Oats contract was ratified after three voting sessions that took place on Thursday, November 7th, 2019.
The RWDSU has informed that the Quaker Oats contract will be in effect for four years and includes: annual general hourly wage increases over the term of the contract equaling 10% over the proposed new four-year term, and workers will receive a signing bonus too, significant wage increases for new workers on wage progression, vacation enhancements including day-at-a-time use, protections against being forced to work during holiday weekends (i.e. Labor Day weekend etc.), and there were also numerous improvements to the contract language, which will assist workers on the job and with work-life balance.
Photo courtesy: RWDSU