ADM workers weigh joining union


DECATUR-Sixty maintenance workers at ADM are voting Tuesday and Wednesday whether to join a union in the third such vote since 2013.

The employees work in the company’s bioproduct facility and are deciding whether to join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union. Union leaders say a 2013 vote ended in a tie, which mean the workers would not unionize. In 2015, workers voted not to join the union, but a judge later found the company had violated labor rules. In an earlier statement, a company official said the allegations were unfounded.

The judge’s decision cleared the way for another vote, said John Price, organization director for the BCTCM International Union.

“Normally, a 60 day notice goes up, and that notice is a government notice that says the National Labor Relations Board has found that the company was guilty of these unfair labor practices,” Price said. “Normally, that notice goes up for 60 days and then an election is scheduled afterwards. The maintenance workers were telling me ‘Enough is enough. We’re ready to go to a vote.’”

Price said when workers vote on Tuesday or Wednesday, they will fill out a simple ballot in a room with a representative of the National Labor Relations Board, an employee picked by the union and an employee picked by the company.

He said if workers choose to join the union, union leaders will meet with workers to discuss their desires and will meet with company officials as well.

“You don’t reach for something you can’t accomplish,” Price said. “Every one of these employees, I can tell you now, money’s not the issue. It’s more about respect, justice, being able to write a grievance if they’re doing wrong.”

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