Local 7-507 Members Ratify Contract Eliminating Tiered Wages at Ingredion

Members of Local 7-507 recently ratified a strong contract that eliminates a tiered system at Ingredion in Illinois.

The unit represents nearly 250 workers at the Bedford Park site that manufactures food grade and pharmaceutical starches.

Bargaining over the four-year contract began in February. After several weeks of negotiations, the members voted down the first tentative agreement because it still included tiered wages that pitted workers against each other.

Local President Derrick Davis said the group made it clear from the start that keeping the tiers was not an option.

“That was the main thing the members wanted,” said Davis, who has served as president for more than 15 years. “This [tier system] is not working for the company, either. It’s hard to maintain quality workers when they’re working beside someone they know is making more than they are doing the same job.”

The amalgamated local also found solidarity with union siblings at the company’s Indianapolis site, where management had also tried to push members last year to eliminate their USW health insurance plan.

Both units remained rooted in each other’s strength and were able to fight off the cut. “Their support was critical,” said Davis.

District 7 Sub-District Director Anthony Alfano said it was the steadfastness of the membership that brought this contract over the finish line.

“We had a really invested team of workers who knew what was at stake and didn’t want to waive their right to bargain over health insurance,” Alfano said.

The agreement also secured significant lump sum bonuses and wage hikes, including up to more than 20 percent for some employees over the length of the contract, as well as increased vacation time for new hires.

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