Drivers at King’s Ready Mix in Cedar Rapids went on strike Tuesday for better wages while the company argues their pay is fair.
Jesse Case, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters Local #238, said 16 drivers were striking for higher wages, the only thing workers were bargaining for.
“We are hopeful for a resolution, but the members are willing to stay on the picket line for as long as it takes,” Case said Thursday. “We want the company to be successful, but the workers need to make a livable wage.”
A rally to support the Ready Mix drivers is being held by Teamsters at noon Tuesday, May 10, at the company’s location at 355 50th Ave. Drive SW in Cedar Rapids.
Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat running for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s seat, stopped by the strike along with other Democrats running for Iowa Legislature seats, according to Finkenauer’s and the Teamsters’ social media pages.
Today I joined @238Teamsters on the picket line as they fight for better wages here in Cedar Rapids. Working families in our country deserve so much more. Coming from a union household, I will fight like hell for us in the U.S. Senate. Let's make Iowa #UnionAF. pic.twitter.com/gTTniPyKce
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) May 5, 2022
“Working families in our country deserve so much more,” Finkenauer wrote after a Thursday visit. “Coming from a union household, I will fight like hell for us in the U.S. Senate. Let’s make Iowa #UnionAF.”
King’s Ready Mix has several Eastern Iowa locations under the King’s Material umbrella, according to its website. It makes concrete at the King’s Ready Mix location and masonry and landscaping materials at the others.
Company president Charlie Rohde said they were “disappointed to have not reached an agreement” with union drivers.
“We have always had a wage and fringe benefit package that is fair and equitable to our team, and our offers have reflected that,” Rohde said in a statement to Iowa Starting Line.
He added that the labor dispute only impacted the Cedar Rapids location, with no impact on the masonry or landscape divisions. He said the company would “continue to serve all customers across the King’s Material organization.”
By Amie Rivers
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