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Leaders of the union representing striking Ingredion workers are preparing for a vote on a tentative agreement on a proposed four-year contract to end the strike against the Cedar Rapids company, which reached 172 days on Thursday. Mike Moore, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 100-G chapter, said Thursday that union officials were reviewing the proposal for any needed changes before copies would be distributed to union members. Assuming all goes as planned, he said, union members are set to vote on the proposal at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Teamsters Hall in Cedar Rapids. A simple majority is required to ratify the proposal, and workers would be back on the job “within two weeks” if the contract is approved. Mr. Moore said he’s relieved a possible end to the strike is in sight to the work stoppage that began Aug. 1, when union members walked off the job after declining the company’s “last, best and final” offer at that time. “When we went out (on strike) Aug. 1, my goal was to get everybody back as soon as possible,” Mr. Moore said. “My members have stood tall. We didn't have one person across the picket line. They've been great. They're been cold, they've been hot, they’ve been wet, and they're exhausted, like all of us are. It's very stressful when you're out there.” Ingredion spokesperson Becca Hary provided a company statement regarding the strike’s resolution, reached after several months of occasionally tense talks between the two sides. “After six months of negotiations, Ingredion is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCGTM) covering our employees at our Cedar Rapids, Iowa, manufacturing facility,” the statement reads. “From the very start of these negotiations, our number one priority has been reaching an agreement that provides very competitive wages, comprehensive benefits, and enhanced conditions for our people to ensure the successful operation of our facility and our continued vital role in the community. We are hopeful that our employees will vote to ratify this contract and return to work.” While not providing specifics, Mr. Moore confirmed that the proposal addresses several key issues that were keeping the two sides apart, including proposed changes to maintenance workers’ schedules, paid vacation time and amnesty for actions by striking workers. “Since I've been in this position over the years, you can't make everybody happy,” he said. “Some people will be happy, some people won't. But overall, I feel it's a good contract.” As recently as Jan. 13, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had weighed in on the strike, sending a letter to Ingredion president Joseph Zallie expressing his “serious concern about Ingredion’s refusal to bargain in good faith.” Union members had also traveled to Ingredion’s headquarters in Westchester, Illinois in October to deliver a list of demands to company management. The current strike is the longest against Ingredion since 2004, when workers conducted a 78-day strike against the company then known as Penford Products. Another strike, in the early 1960s, involved the company, then known as Penick & Ford, proposing to eliminate double-time pay on Sunday. That issue was resolved in the union’s favor, and double-time Sundays remain in place. Mr. Moore acknowledged the strike has taken a toll on the employees, including 10 union members who chose to take jobs elsewhere since the strike began. “The job market was so favorable that they were able to find other jobs fairly easily,” he said. If the contract proposal is ratified, Mr. Moore said he would anticipate holding a news conference with union leaders and workers early next week, perhaps as soon as Monday.