Members of the Teamsters union at farmer-owned nut company Diamond Walnut have voted to ratify a new five year contract ending a strike that began in 1991.
The pact provides wage increases and restores full seniority and benefits to striking workers, the union said.
“This contract rewards the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of Teamsters at Diamond Walnut,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president. “This resolution has been a long time in coming, and it represents the strength and power of a unified Teamsters union.”
The agreement between the union and the company covers 400 regular, full-year production and maintenance workers, and another 350 workers employed during the fall harvest season.
“This has been a very long and complicated process, and we are happy to have it resolved,” said Gary Ford, Diamond’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We believe this new contract is fair and in the best interest of our owners as well as our employees. Diamond remains committed to growing our business, which in turn benefits our work force and our community.”
Workers will receive wage increases during each year of the contract. Diamond Walnut has agreed to provide special training, including language classes and instruction in forklift driving, for workers seeking advancement opportunities. Some workers earning seniority will be newly eligible for paid vacation time and holidays.
“I was optimistic that the day would come when we would resolve this struggle with a fair contract – and today it finally happened,” said Lucio M. Reyes, Local 601 secretary-treasurer. “I look forward to a bright future for Teamsters at Diamond Walnut.”