BISMARCK, N.D. (KFGO) – Workers at Bobcat’s Bismarck manufacturing facility voted in favor of union representation in a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Wednesday.
Bobcat employee Jacob Klein was one of the organizers. He said approximately 56% of the plant’s workers voted to unionize after a six-month organizing effort.
United Steelworkers District 11 Director Emil Ramirez said the 700 Bobcat employees became closer as a group while organizing.
“As employers continue to urge more and faster production, it is absolutely essential for workers to have a say on issues that could impact their occupational health and safety,” Ramirez said. “Fair pay and benefits will help retain loyal, experienced workers, and ensuring adequate staffing numbers will keep the plant running as safely and efficiently as possible.”
“Bobcat workers deserve a fair union contract that provides fair pay and promotes a healthy work-life balance with limits on mandatory overtime and provisions for paid-time-off,” said Klein. “We are proud to join the United Steelworkers.”
United Steelworkers will next reach out to Bobcat management to schedule negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement. Klein says once a bargaining committee has been selected, the union will be conducting a survey of plant workers to find out what the priorities are for those negotiations.