Contract talks between Wells’ Dairy and the ice cream maker’s employee committee are expected to begin this week. Some 1,500 Wells’ operations workers, represented by the United Dairy Workers bargaining group, have agreed to open their current labor agreement.
The dairy is asking for a contract change to help control costs to meet financial goals. The current three-year contract is scheduled to expire in December. Wells’ spokesman Dave Smetter says the labor agreement changes are part of an overall comprehensive plan.
Smetter says: "Certainly labor costs are part of that plan as the company looks at that but there are other costs, too, that we look at including commodity costs, ingredients that make up our ice cream products, fuel costs, etcetera, so this is part of that comprehensive plan to really make us as competitive as possible going forward." He says, "By doing that, we feel that we will create job security stability and sustainability for the long term benefit of our employees, their families and the community."
A spokesman for the United Dairy Workers could not be reached for comment.