First District and teamsters settle strike

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/24/98.

First District Association, Litchfield, and members of Teamsters Union Local 471 ended a 17-day strike by approving a new contract by just a five-vote margin on Thursday, Feb. 19.

Following a meeting and vote at the Litchfield Civic Arena Thursday, the employees reported back to work at 7:30 p.m.

Terms of the package were worked out between the union and the company Feb. 14.

The strike began Feb. 2 after employees voted down two different offers. The employees went on strike because they said the company wanted workers and retirees to pay more for health insurance, take a reduction in overtime and vacation pay and required employees to drop their union pension plan in favor of a new company pension plan equivalent to the union plan, an increase in shift differential, increases in contributions to employees health plan and a signing bonus.

During the strike the company kept the plant operating with management staff and replacement workers.

As a result of the strike, the company has sold its fleet of trucks and is contracting with private operators to pick up the milk at dairy farms. About 31 drivers and employees who work in the truck wash are affected.

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