m5331 BC-MN-AMPIStrike 10-23 0221 Web routed by tamara
Workers on strike at AMPI dairy plant in Dawson
DAWSON, Minn. (AP) — More than 100 union employees at the Associated Milk Producers Inc. dairy plant in Dawson went on strike at noon Tuesday after they said negotiations for a new contract fell apart.
Members of Teamsters Local 120 said AMPI pulled a contract agreement off the table late last week, but negotiations continued through Sunday. Both sides said the difference between the two sides is largely economic.
Union spokesman Mike Klootwyk said Dawson employees voted 96-5 to strike if negotiations fell apart.
On its Web site, New Ulm-based AMPI says it has 1,400 employees at 12 locations, including the Dawson plant, which is the only one where employees are on strike.
Klootwyk said Dawson employees are seeking equal pay with workers at other AMPI locations, as well as improved employee health benefits and vacation time. He said the employees in Dawson are paid less than workers at a number of other AMPI locations.
AMPI General Manager Mark Furth said the union had not notified the company of a strike deadline and the walkout was unexpected.
Furth said AMPI has made several offers to the Teamsters, but no offer was accepted.
The union contract expired Oct. 2.