More than 200 Dean Dairy Teamsters are working without a contract today, after their labor pact expired and the company’s offer was “overwhelmingly rejected” during a union vote Sunday.

Robert C. Buckley, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 261, wouldn’t release a vote tally.

“The company’s proposal was overwhelmingly rejected,” Buckley said Sunday night, after workers heard presentations of the company’s offer at noon and 5 p.m., then voted against the deal.

The three-year pact the union had with the South Pymatuning Township company expired at midnight, but Buckley said a strike isn’t in the works.

“Oh, heavens no. I’ve been in contact with the company,” Buckley said. “It is their desire and our desire to go back to bargaining.”

The union represents 229 production, maintenance and driving employees at the dairy, which is the area’s main supplier of milk and milk products.

“We’re far apart and we need to get closer,” Buckley said. “In talking with the company representative, business will continue as usual under the present terms and conditions. Both sides have expressed the willingness to return to the table as soon as possible.”

After the vote, union members weren’t in a mood to talk about their issues with the company. Some spent some time after voting at Danny’s Country Inn in Sharpsville and they weren’t happy with the proposal they voted on, but didn’t want to “negotiate in the media” and wouldn’t say what the sticking points were.

Neither would the company.

“They voted against our proposal. That’s where we’re at,” Dean Vice President and General Manager Frank Chrastina said.

He wouldn’t comment further.

Buckley said the Teamsters and Dean have worked well together over the years.

“For the most part we’ve had a very good relationship with the company,” Buckley said. “Negotiations will be set.”

Recommended for you