Union Workers Enrich Cookie Production
The Girl Scouts of America only trust two bakery factories in the U.S. to make and bake their famous cookies—the Interbake Foods bakery in North Sioux City, S.D. and the Little Brownie Bakers bakery in Louisville, Ky.—and Teamster members work at both.
“We’ve represented the warehouse, shipping/receiving and bakery machine maintenance workers at Interbake Foods for at least the past 20 years,” said Kim Quick, President of Local 554 in Sioux City, S.D. “My favorite Girl Scout Cookie is Caramel deLite.”
“Bakers, line operators, mixers, forklift drivers, stackers, wrappers, caramel mixers and mechanics are some of the many job classifications we represent at Little Brownie Bakers,” said John Stovall, President of Local 783 which has represented the bakery employees for over 20 years.
“This facility has grown a lot in recent years,” Stovall said. “Its now running seven days a week, mainly making Girl Scout Cookies, but also other Keebler products the rest of the year. My favorite is the Samoa cookie.”
Pride in Production
For 30 years, Dale Whitlock, a member of Local 554, has been working at Interbake Foods, in the shipping and receiving department and he has pride in the way the facility runs. “We have about 54 members of the local working here at the bakery facility. We do maintenance on the baking machines such as fixing the big conveyor system which stamps the cookies out, as well as the steam heating system, palletizers and some robotics. We also handle the shipping and receiving here. When I started here it was a smaller plant called Johnson Biscuit. Now we make cookies all year long for Family Dollar, Dollar General, Kroger and Girl Scout Cookies. My favorite cookie is Peanut Butter Patties.”
Another member of Local 554, Carol Daniels, added that she remembers her own experience as a Girl Scout. “It’s a good fundraiser for [the scouts]. We conduct tours in certain areas of the plant for Girl Scouts so that they can see the running of the cookies. I am sure seeing the production is a good learning experience for them.”
Unlike the South Dakota facility, Local 783 represents more than 400 workers at Little Brownie Bakery. This bakery produces half of the U.S.’s Girl Scout Cookies, which requires many ovens and production lines to be produced.
Marcus Hall, a machine mechanic at the Louisville facility, said that they produce Girl Scout Cookies 10 months out of the year. Hall keeps the palletizers, carteners and other necessary machines rolling so that they can keep up with the demand for baked goods. “We ship cookies worldwide because there are scout troops in other countries on different schedules for their cookie sales, and we supply them all!” Hall, a 37-year employee, first came to the bakery just after high school and is the chief steward of the 400-member unit.
“We are proud that our members have an integral part in the production of Girl Scout Cookies. Our skilled members ensure that the cookies are made with high production standards, just like all Teamster products,” said Dave Dudas, Director, of the Bakery and Laundry Conference.
To find the nearest source for Girl Scout cookies, please use this link: http://www.girlscouts.org/en/cookies/cookies.html#