Teamsters union workers at ADM preparing for strike Tuesday

Union’s contract with Cedar Rapids corn processor expires at midnight

ADM Cedar Rapids
ADM's plant in Cedar Rapids. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

Representatives of Teamsters union workers at the ADM corn processing plant in southwest Cedar Rapids say the union is preparing for a strike as soon as Tuesday morning, affecting more than 200 workers.

Jesse Case, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 238, said in a news release that wages at ADM have not kept up with the issues facing today’s workforce.

“ADM had an operating profit of $1.6 billion in the past quarter,” Mr. Case said. “Our members kept the company open during this period. Workers are tired of record company profits while they struggle to make ends meet. The combination of the pandemic, the increase in the cost of living and the shortage of workers in the job market have changed the attitude of workers. Our members are fed up with the gap between corporate profits and their own paychecks.”

ADM officials released an official statement Monday night on the situation.

“We have offered an extremely competitive proposal to union membership at our corn wet mill in Cedar Rapids and continue to negotiate in good faith with the union,” the statement reads. “In the event of a strike, we have a robust plan in place to maintain production levels and continue meeting customer needs until we can reach a satisfactory resolution with the union.”

If the Teamsters go on strike this week, they’ll join more than 100 other workers in the corn processing industry in Cedar Rapids who are currently on strike. Ingredion workers represented by BCTGM Local 100G went on strike Aug. 1, citing issues with pay, health benefits and proposed job relocations. That strike has continued ever since, though negotiations are reportedly set to resume between the two sides Tuesday.

Teamsters 238 is the largest local union in the state of Iowa, with around 5,000 working in a wide variety of industries, including transportation, warehousing, manufacturing and public service.