Merrillville-based MonoSol and Teamsters Local 135 have reached a new agreement at the La Porte plant following a month-long lockout.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the contract covers 192 employees and includes pay increases, $6,000 signing bonuses, improved bonuses and financial incentives for attendance, and voluntary overtime.
MonoSol, which makes biodegradable films as a division of Tokyo-based Kuraray Group, guaranteed no mandatory overtime for two years.
Earlier this month, nearly 200 workers were locked out due to an impasse involving concerns about forced overtime of up to 22 hours a week, and prevention of workers from calling off sick or dealing with family emergencies.
The Times reports the union sought pay increases because workers didn’t get bonuses while working through the pandemic. Workers also expressed concerns alleging discrimination at the plant.
“We are pleased that we have reached agreement and now begin the process of welcoming our employees back to work,” MonoSol Vice President Matthew Vander Laan said. “We look forward to continuing the employee brainstorming sessions that began this past summer to reset the dialogue, strengthen our relationships and build trust consistent with our shared mission, vision and values.”
Employees are expected to return to work beginning Jan. 3.
MonoSol operates plants in La Porte and the AmeriPlex at the Port business park in Portage, supplying Procter & Gamble with its water-soluble film used in single-use laundry and dish detergents such as Tide Pods and Cascade Pods.