Darigold workers delay contract vote for more negotiations

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by ADAM MERTZ / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:10 PM

TUKWILA, Wash. -- Darigold employees have decided to hold off voting on the dairy company's latest contract offer so both sides can hold another round of negotiations.

The workers were originally set to cast their vote on the proposal on Wednesday night. 

"The company is calling this their last, best, and final [offer]. A lot of things have happened over the week and a lot of concerns that our members have brought forward sort of led to the decision not to vote," said worker contract negotiator Brenda Wiest.

The 220 employees work at several facilities including Issaquah and Seattle. A Darigold spokesperson said the new contract includes pay raises and addresses some concerns about healthcare premiums. 

Darigold worker Jeff Koch said he's also concerned about the company hiring temporary workers and overtime hours.

"We've struggled trying to get the company's attention and there's a lot of little details," said Koch.

A Darigold spokesperson said company officials believe the contract is "fair" and they were "hopeful" the employees would vote to accept it.

The employees have been working without a contract since June 1, according to an official with Teamsters Local 117. 

No details yet on when negotiations will resume.

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