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      Roquette union workers still walking the picket line

      UPDATE: October 7 at 4:34 p.m.

      Union workers are preparing to go the Keokuk city council meeting in big numbers.

      Members of the 48-G union were still picketing outside of all Roquette entrances Thursday.

      They told KHQA more than 200 of them are scheduled to appear at Thursday night's meeting and many are asking to speak.

      You'll recall Roquette America locked out the union workers last week after the union voted down its final contract offer.

      Representatives of Roquette America and the union sat down with a federal mediator this week.

      Union representatives say benefits, seniority and a drop in the starting wage are the sticking points.

      KHQA's Rajah Maples is on her way to that meeting and will show you what they have to say Thursday night on KHQA's News at Ten.

      Check back here for updates and feel free to leave your comments below.


      Press release from Roquette America sent Oct. 6, 2010:

      Roquette America, Inc. provides update regarding October 6 meeting with FMCS and BCTGM Local 48G

      Roquette America, Inc. (RAI) met with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) early this morning to discuss future negotiating steps and review RAI TMs planned approach with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, Local 48G (BCTGM Local 48G).

      Following the initial meeting between RAI and FMCS, RAI met with the BCTGM with the facilitation of the FMCS. Through the mediator, the Company presented:

      A document which clarified/explained the inadvertent inclusions/exclusions of certain provisions in its last, best and final offer and also included appropriate language provisions that clarify questions previously raised by 48G; all of which were incorporated into a written, appropriately modified last best and final contract offer.

      A color-coded document which highlighted the handful of specific changes and movement in position made by 48G that appeared in their October 5, 2010 counter proposal.

      In its modified last, best and final offer, the Company identified all its proposed contract changes and how each of these represented one or more of its negotiation goals to:

      - Achieve Greater Workforce Stability

      - Improve Competency Development

      - Enhance Job Performance and Accountability

      - Increase Flexibility of the Workforce

      - Improve Current Contract Language

      - Stabilize the Compensation System

      The Company stated:

      The Company TMs primary goal throughout the past two months was to successfully negotiate a four year successor 2010 contract which ensures business sustainability;

      The Company maintains this goal today;

      The Company is prepared to continue negotiations with 48G to accomplish this goal. However, in the future this goal can only be achieved by the parties conducting productive discussions. It is RAI TMs position that unless and until 48G substantively addresses RAI TMs six major negotiating goals as contained in its September 28, 2010 last, best and final offer, further negotiation sessions without 48G TMs substantive consideration of these six goals would be futile and non-productive.

      It is the Company TMs understanding that 48G will be preparing a proposal to address the above. Once completed, 48G will be contacting the FMCS to propose a follow up meeting with the three parties.


      Union workers still are walking informational pickets 24 hours a day in Keokuk.

      Roquette America locked out the union workers last week after the union voted down its contract.

      Representatives of Roquette America and the union sat down briefly with a federal mediator Tuesday morning.

      Click here to read a press release titled "Union keeping employees locked out of Roquette jobs" that was issued by Roquette America's Human Resources Director Tom Ross.

      Union president Steve Underwood told KHQA no more meetings are scheduled.

      Underwood believes benefits, seniority and a drop in the starting wage are the sticking points.

      We weren't able to get in touch with a spokesperson for Roquette Tuesday.