The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 20, 2012

Union ends strike by dairy workers


CUMBERLAND, Md. — The Teamsters union has ended a nine-week strike by Potomac Farms Dairy workers in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Members of Teamsters Local 453 ratified a new contract Saturday.

Potomac Farms is owned by The Galliker Dairy Co. of Johnstown. The company acquired Potomac Farms Dairy in March 1984, according to the company website. The plant has won a number of awards over the years, most recently from the prestigious Quality Chekd Dairies Inc. trade organization.

The union represents 55 workers, mostly at a processing plant in Cumberland.  The others drive trucks based in Oakland; Moorefield, W.Va.; and Culpeper and Broadway, Va.

The workers went on strike in September after rejecting an offer that would have ended company contributions to their pension plan.

A previous contract expired at the end of February 2011, but both sides verbally agreed to continue negotiations. In May, the company made its final offer.

In June, the company imposed its final offer, union officials have said. Issues include company contributions to an employee pension plan, wage retroactivity and holiday pay.

It is unclear if the ratified contract is the same as the final offer made by the company in June.

Details of the new agreement haven’t been released.

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