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LaPorte strike ends as MonoSol union workers vote for new four-year contract

Workers voted to end a nearly month-long strikeat packaging manufacturer MonoSol after receiving a new contract Wednesday, according to a company press release.

They will return to work at the LaPorte plant Jan. 3 and will still receive holiday pay from the company for Christmas and New Year’s.

READ MORE: Striking workers allege forced overtime, discrimination at northern Indiana manufacturing plant

“We are pleased that we have reached an agreement and now begin the process of welcoming our employees back to work,” said MonoSol Vice President Matthew Vander Laan in the release. “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.”

Teamsters Local 135, the union representing the almost 200 workers, did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

The union workers said they chose to strike because their contract would allow the company to continue forcing them to work overtime, sometimes up to 60 hours per week. The company has repeatedly denied those allegations, saying most employees take overtime voluntarily.

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Still, the company agreed to guarantee it would not force overtime for two years in a contract they proposed last week. Workers voted that federally-mediated contract down Monday after a snowstorm delayed plans to hold a vote Friday.

READ MORE: MonoSol union workers to vote on new contract, could end weeks-long strike

In the final approved contract, the company extended that guarantee to up to four years “if certain criteria are met,” according to the press release. It’s not clear what those criteria are.

It also guarantees a $6,000 signing bonus, pay raises for third- and fourth-year employees and “financial incentives for attendance and voluntary overtime.”

MonoSol, a subsidiary of Japan-based Kuraray Co., makes water-soluble packaging used for products like Tide Pods.

Local 135 had recently filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against MonoSol. They allege supervisors berate and target Black and female workers. The company repeatedly denied that allegation, calling it a tactic to put pressure on negotiations.

It’s not clear what will happen to that charge now.

Contact reporter Adam at or follow him on Twitter at @arayesIPB.

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