Sixteen civilian workers from Joint Logistics Managers Inc. at the Rock Island Arsenal went on a 24-hour strike Thursday.
Paul Phelps, one of the strikers, said the workers have been without a contract since July 1 and only have been offered a deal that would take away all their sick days, give no raises for five years and reduce health benefits.
The workers picketed at the Moline, Rock Island and Davenport entrances to the island on Thursday, beginning at 5:30 a.m.
JLMI is a logistics company headquartered in Virginia that has a contract to service forklifts and perform transportation duties at the Arsenal, said Howard Spoon, president of Teamster Local 371, which represents the striking workers.
"Hopefully, this will send a message to the company that we are serious," Mr. Spoon said. "We just want a fair contract."
Mr. Spoon said the workers could go on a longer strike in coming weeks if they don't get the response they are looking for from JLMI management.
The 16 workers who are part of the collective bargaining unit at JLMI voted on Sept. 23 to take strike action if necessary, he said.
Mr. Phelps, a mechanic, has worked on the Arsenal for 25 years. JLMI won a contract previously held by Pacific Architects and Engineers, or PAE, in July, taking on the union employees.
JLMI has hired labor attorney Arthur Eggers of the Moline law firm of Califf and Harper PC for the negotiations with workers. Mr. Eggers was unavailable on Thursday, but previously said he does not comment on pending negotiations.
JLMI operates under the Directorate of Logistics for the Rock Island Arsenal, said Army Sustainment Command spokesman Dan Carlson.
"The company (JLMI) and the union would negotiate a labor agreement separately from us (ASC)," he said.
Mr. Spoon has filed three grievances with the National Labor Relations Board related to alleged unfair labor practices by JLMI. As the complaints have yet to adjudicated, Mr. Spoon said he could not provide details on the allegations.
Today is Monday, Sept. 15, the 258th day of 2014. There are 107 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: The Rock River Illinois conference of the Methodist Church will hold its annual sessions this week in this city. About 200 ministers are expected to attend. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Brush electric company had prepared a new schedule of rates to become effective Oct. 1, with slightly increased rates to consumers. 1914 — 100 years ago: The Rock Island Aerie of Eagles made plans for the laying of the cornerstone of a new $50,000 Eagles Home. W.C. Maucker is to be master of ceremonies. 1939 — 75 years ago: Col. Charles A. Lindbergh spoke on "America and Foreign War" in a neutrality debate over nation wide radio hook-up. 1964 — 50 years ago: Two awards of the National Safety council were presented to the city of Rock Island today at noon at a meeting held in the YWCA. 1989 — 25 years ago: The final tallies are not yet in for the summer 1989 Quad-Cities tourism season, but officials are expecting the number of visitors to the area to be at least as good as, if not better than, 1988.