UPDATE 2-Some workers strike at ADM Decatur, Illinois, grain facility
(Adds number of workers on strike, company bringing in replacement workers)
By Karl Plume
CHICAGO, Feb 3 (Reuters) -
Some union represented workers at Archer-Daniels-Midland Co's large grain and oilseed processing facility in Decatur, Illinois, walked off the job late on Thursday as contract negotiations with the agribusiness company stalled, Teamsters Local 916 said in a statement issued on Friday.
Between 30 and 40 employees that oversee the power co-generation plant at the central Illinois site are on strike and the company has brought in replacement workers, the union said.
There are nearly 5,000 employees at the sprawling Decatur facility that processes corn and soybeans into food, animal feed and biofuels, according to ADM. The company said it will be able to maintain production until an agreement with the union is reached.
The strike was the latest of a rash of labor disputes at U.S. manufacturing facilities, often stoked by frustrations that wages are not keeping pace with inflation while corporations are reaping massive profits.
ADM last month reported a record-large fourth-quarter profit and forecast continued strong earnings in 2023.
"ADM is refusing to offer these workers wages and benefits on par with what union members receive at other union facilities," J.P. Fyans, Local 916 president, said in a media statement.
ADM has offered the members "an extremely competitive proposal" and continues to negotiate with the union in good faith, said company spokesperson Jackie Anderson.
"We have a robust plan in place to maintain production levels until we can reach a satisfactory resolution," she said.
The Decatur site, ADM's global headquarters until a move to Chicago a decade ago, houses a soybean crushing plant and one of the largest corn wet mills in the world. It has the capacity to produce 375 million gallons of ethanol biofuel annually, making it the largest in the country, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Sandra Maler, Aurora Ellis and Marguerita Choy)