A vote will be held toward the end of this month deciding the fate of MPI as employees are split between choosing whether to allow a labor union to take over the business or give Monomoy, an investment firm, a chance to improve conditions. Monomoy purchased the business in January and while some employees feel they deserve more time to improve upon MPI, others feel a union should step in and bring fairer conditions to the table.
Glenda Stacy, spokesperson for a collected group of protesters who gathered outside of USA Cafe in Knox yesterday afternoon, says they are against the idea of the union stepping in. She thinks it would be detrimental to the company and feels Monomoy deserves a chance to prove themselves, and says their owner has already made some positive changes.
“They have made some management changes that are definitely for the good,” said Stacy. “It was already in the works to give pay raises across the board, they just didn’t have a set time for that which they do now and those will be in effect on our next paycheck, so that makes everyone happy.”
Jared Warnock, a Teamsters organizer, however, disagrees. He says they were contacted by MPI employees who complained about unfair treatment, such as inconsistent rules and discipline and seniority rights – such as shift preferences, vacation choices, pay issues and other problems – as well as lack of respect. He says letting the union step in would actually benefit the employees.
“It’d be a benefit to the employees to have a legal and binding contract that doesn’t change day-to-day, that’s consistent day-to-day, running over a period of time. It’s a commitment by the employer to the employees over a period of time that that’s what the employees will do, and that’s what the employer will do for the employees if they hold up their end of the bargain,” Warnock explained.
It all comes down to a vote on June 28, however, when all MPI employees will make their voices heard as to whether to stay with the business’s current owner or let a labor union step in.