Nestle's Danville Workers Vote to Join USW

Aug 20, 2015, 16:25 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Workers who make Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough and Buitoni products at a plant in Danville, Va., voted this week to join the United Steelworkers (USW).

The USW will represent 470 workers in contract negotiations with Nestle to address concerns such as wages, benefits and supervision.

"We are proud that these workers chose to join the USW to help them improve their working lives," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.

Hourly workers at the 27-year-old plant contacted the USW, which represents 850,000 workers in the United States and Canada. The Nestle workers wanted the USW to help organize the plant so that issues like unfair wages, workplace safety and disrespectful treatment by supervisors could be dealt with in collective bargaining.

The USW represents tire builders at the Goodyear plant in Danville, and Nestle workers asked them about organizing. The Nestle works said they were upset by the corporation's pay structure under which it compensates some workers $2 to $4 less an hour and schedules them for fewer than 40 hours a week for years at a time. Sometimes, Nestle passes over these workers for full-time employment, hiring instead through a staffing agency.

In addition, workers complained about on-call requirements under which they must work unscheduled shifts on short notice. Workers also said that on occasion, they received assignments without training, jeopardizing safety.

"We are looking forward to constructive negotiations with Nestle to resolve these issues to the benefit of both the workers and the company," USW Organizer Ben Brandon said.

The USW also represents tire builders at the Goodyear plant in Danville. Workers at some of Nestle's other U.S. plants are represented by unions as well.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include food-making as well as metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information:

Maria Somma: 412-562-1992

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)