Darigold workers in Seattle, Issaquah vote to strike

This article has been updated with responses from Darigold. 

Darigold workers in Seattle and Issaquah voted to strike Saturday.

About 200 workers will be affected by the strike. The company said it is actively working with the workers and will be at the bargaining table next week.

In a July 10 press release, Teamsters Local Union No. 117 accuses the company of violating federal labor law by engaging in illegal surveillance of its workers and unilaterally changing working conditions.

In a July 11 statement, Darigold said they use video cameras at every plant.

"The primary purpose of the cameras is to monitor the production line and the flow of milk," Darigold said. "Footage from the cameras is sometimes used to resolve disputes following employee complaints."

The union also claims the company failed to provide information about bonuses doled out to managers during bargaining.

In their statement, Darigold said bonuses are discretionary and based on management goals.

"The Teamsters employees are paid wages and benefits, based on contracted rates," Darigold said. "Their pay has no bonus component, whereas management pay does. The pay systems are not related to one another."

Darigold also responded that the pay and benefit packages Teamster 117 employees receive is competitive.

The company said the average pay rate for the employees is more than $25 an hour, equating to roughly $52,000 annually.

"When all benefits are factored in, the fully loaded pay rate, including health benefits, vacation pay and pension, is nearly $40 per hour," Darigold said.

Workers say that after Saturday’s vote, they will hand out leaflets to Darigold customers.

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