DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Teamsters Local 916 members at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the top ten largest food companies in the world, have gone on strike at the company’s Decatur location.

“ADM is refusing to offer these workers wages and benefits on par with what union members receive at other union facilities, which is a slap in the face,” said J.P. Fyans, Local 916 President. “We all know the real reason the company is doing this – when these workers get a contract, non-union ADM staff will hear about it and want to join the Teamsters. ADM needs to stop the union-busting and start showing some respect to the people who are responsible for its prosperity.”

Local 916 is asking for a 12% raise over the next three years, to keep up with inflation.

“This company is one of the oldest and largest food conglomerates in the world,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region Vice President and Food Processing Division Director. “It made more than $100 billion in the revenue last year, a 20 percent increase from the year prior. This isn’t about money to ADM, it’s about power. Well guess what – the Teamsters have power too, and we plan on using it to get a good contract for these workers.”

The Teamsters have filed a claim of unfair labor practices to the National Labor Relations Board over the failed negotiations.

“The company doesn’t seem to be interested in fair bargaining,” said Bruce Lowe, an operations technician who has worked at the Decatur facility for 22 years. “The price of everything is up, yet ADM is refusing a 12 percent wage increase over the course of three years. It’s time for us to get what we deserve. We tried to tell management that during negotiations, but they didn’t want to hear it. Unfortunately, going on strike is the only way we can get our point across to them.”

Teamsters Local 916 is made up of over 4,000 people throughout the state of Illinois.

ADM released the following statement:

"We have offered an extremely competitive proposal to union membership at our co-generation facility in Decatur and continue to negotiate in good faith with the union. We have a robust plan in place to maintain production levels until we can reach a satisfactory resolution."

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