(LENA, Wisc.) – Workers at the Saputo Inc. (TSE: SAP) cheese production facility in Lena, Wisc., have voted overwhelmingly, 367 to 79, in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 662 in Green Bay, Wisc. There are 459 production, maintenance and warehouse workers.
“We are proud to welcome these brothers and sisters to the Teamsters. The Saputo workers have wanted respect from the company for a long time. Their campaign started seven weeks ago and was a quick victory due to the resolve of the group to gain Teamster representation,” said Rick Skutak, Teamsters Local 662 Secretary-Treasurer.
“This margin of victory shows what we can do together when the membership is this united. We are looking forward to negotiating a strong bargaining agreement for this deserving group of workers,” said Tom Strickland, a business agent with Local 662.
Saputo is a Montreal-based Canadian dairy company with operations is over 40 countries. In Lena, workers cited favoritism, unaffordable health insurance and lack of respect as the main reasons for organizing with the Teamsters.
“I am so happy to be a Teamster because I know we will be treated fairly,” said Brett Behnke, a string assembler at Saputo.
“I’m excited because I know I can keep on supporting my family and we can negotiate for fair wages and benefits as Teamsters,” said Deb Panske, a stick operator at Saputo.
“By working together, Teamsters Local 662 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are raising standards and improving conditions for yet another group of dairy workers,” said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Dairy Conference.
The Teamsters now represent more than 1,600 Saputo workers at 11 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
The Teamsters Dairy Division represents more than 30,000 workers in the dairy industry in the U.S. and Canada.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.