Local 135 Members Demand New Agreement, No Forced Overtime
(INDIANAPOLIS)–Teamsters Local 135 members at MonoSol are picketing outside the company’s LaPorte, Ind., facility, demanding the packaging employer negotiate a fair contract and call off its lockout of workers.
On Nov. 26, Teamsters overwhelmingly rejected a substandard contract offer from MonoSol and authorized a strike. In advance of a potential job action last week, the company preemptively shut its doors to workers. Nearly 200 Teamsters are asking for an end to forced overtime and 60-hour workweeks.
Local 135 members produce water-soluble packaging used by Procter & Gamble [NYSE: PG] to make products like Tide laundry detergent pods and Cascade dishwasher detergent pods.
“Our members work extremely hard for MonoSol, but this company needs to hire more people and treat its employees better — period,” said Dustin Roach, President-Elect of Local 135. “Teamsters shouldn’t have to suffer because of the employer’s chronic understaffing. MonoSol management is operating this company off the backs of hardworking people, and our members deserve respect and fair treatment on the job.”
“MonoSol is trying to wear us down, but we won’t let them,” said Eric Hoffman, Caster and Mixer at MonoSol. “All we want is an agreement with reasonable hours so we can see our families. We need fair wages that keep up with inflation and the cost of living. We aren’t asking for the world here. But the company is being unreasonable and, to be honest, greedy.”
The Teamsters represent more than 350 MonoSol employees nationwide, including about 200 utility operators, casters, mixers, winders, and maintenance workers at the LaPorte facility.
MonoSol, a division of Japan-based Kuraray, is the exclusive distributor of water-soluble products to Procter & Gamble nationally.
In 2020, Kuraray endorsed and became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, which includes a pledge to uphold freedom of association in the workplace, recognize the right to collective bargaining, and eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labor, including forced overtime. This week, Local 135 sent Procter & Gamble a letter asking the corporation to investigate MonoSol’s labor practices throughout the United States.
“I have close to 200 coworkers here and we are all sticking together until MonoSol treats us right and returns to the table. We deserve a fair deal. We cannot accept a contract that includes forced labor,” Hoffman said.