A group of about 100 members of the Teamsters Union began picketing at Anderson Erickson’s Des Moines headquarters late Sunday night.
AE has confirmed that the strike relates to health care costs and the lack of a new contract.
Workers are now being asked to pay for part of their health care coverage. In the previous contract that expired in March, individual employees paid nothing for their insurance plans while family plans cost $69 per month.
The statement adds that the new agreement would cost individual employees between $15 and $35 per month with family plans ranging from $45-$105 per month.
Miriam Erickson Brown, the President and CEO of Anderson Erickson told Channel 13 News that the company is working to balance employee salaries and benefits with the rising costs of supplies and increased costs of operation. She says, “It’s very difficult to balance health insurance and the pension we’re talking about for union employees and remain competitive in the marketplace. And just the general costs of basic materials that we need. Sugar, cocoa, packaging, even milk. It’s just gone up dramatically in the last three to four years.”
Workers told Channel 13 News that the strike is over more than just health care costs. They say the contract is bad overall. They also say they hope they won’t be on the picket line long. They say at some point they will start taking shifts.
Tune into Channel 13 News and www.whotv.com for the latest updates on the strike.