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Workers at Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), a Coralville-based biotechnology, clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical development company, have informed their employer they will explore forming a union with Teamsters Local 238. The announcement was first made on a Twitter account created by employees. https://twitter.com/TeamIDTtweets/status/1651274450040504337 A subsequent tweet alleges that IDT management is dissuading employees from signing a petition indicating support to hold a secret election necessary to form a union. It does not appear a filing has been posted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) website at this time. IDT did not directly respond to those claims, but president Demaris Mills provided a statement on the ongoing situation. "IDT cares about its employees and their well-being, and is committed to continuing to provide a great place to work in Coralville," said Ms. Mills. "We are committed to listening to our team, communicating with transparency, and providing information and resources as we go forward." A website created by employees describing the goal of these efforts outlines several concerns about current working conditions. They claim starting lab technician wages at IDT are more than 30% lower than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and unfair disciplinary procedures are creating an unequal playing field for employees. It also references "new, strict attendance policies" and a "value stream" model of production at IDT that the statement claims only acts as a way to increase automation of production, tire workers and give employers just cause to fire employees and not pay severance. "I don't want free food. I want my wages to at least keep up with inflation and a policy around breaks/past disciplinary matters that isn't going to get people fired unreasonably," said Cole Eckhardt, a laboratory technician, in a statement on the website. "Employees who work in unionized workplaces make on average 17% more than peers without a union," Eckhardt added. "Unions also provide job security, a grievance procedure in the case of a dispute between an employee and management, and allow workers to demand respect be given and input taken by the company." Teamsters Local 238 and IDT workers could not be reached for comment on this story. Danaher Corporation is a Washington, D.C. conglomerate and the parent company of IDT. While IDT workers claim wages have not kept up with inflation, Danaher CEO Rainer Blair earned more than $17 million in 2021, after factoring in stocks and options, incentive bonuses and other compensation, according to an SEC filing. “We had a good start to the year in the first quarter," said Mr. Blair in an April 25 SEC filing. "Our team’s focused execution in a challenging operating environment helped deliver better-than-expected revenue, earnings and cash flow. We are especially pleased with the performance of our base business, which grew 6% in the first quarter.” IDT workers attempting to unionize is just the latest example of organized labor activity in Johnson County and eastern Iowa. Englert Theatre workers and IATSE 690 are in negotiations with management to agree to a contract after forming a union in November. In March, the Starbucks at 228 S. Clinton St. in downtown Iowa City became the most recent Starbucks store to file a petition to unionize, joining other locations in a national trend. More than 290 Starbucks stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia have successfully unionized since 2021. Ingredion workers in Cedar Rapids agreed to a four-year contract in January, finally ending a 175-day strike that garnered national attention. And in November, Teamster 238 and ADM ratified a three-year contract, averting a strike.