Holten Meat workers go on strike after rejecting latest contract offer


By Denise Hollinshed, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

Mar 18, 2017


SAUGET • Union members at Holten Meats in Sauget went on strike Saturday after voting overwhelmingly to reject the company’s latest contract offer.


Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 voted 124-38 to reject the offer, according to union official Garry Torpea.


That exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to authorize a strike. The workers met at the American Legion post in Dupo.


Picket lines were set up immediately after the vote and will remain up for the duration of the strike, the union said.


“The issue here is not over economics,” said David Cook, the union local’s president. He said the critical issue was seniority language relating to job mobility.


Currently, the union said, a night-shift worker cannot use seniority to bid for an open day-shift job if it becomes available. Rather than allow senior employees to move to a different shift when a position opens up, the union said, Holten frequently hires new employees to fill those day jobs...