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, March 10, the 69th day of 2014. There are 296 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Numerous counterfeiters are around, taking advantage of the influx of currency to pass their worthless trash. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.J. Reimers, secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co., on behalf of that firm, contributed $500 toward construction of a new Methodist church. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Samuel Ryerson, county recorder, was re-elected president of the 19th District of Knights of Pythias. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Three condemnation suits have been filed by the city of Rock Island to acquire property needed for an approach to the Rock Island-Davenport bridge, which has been under construction since March 6. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Plans for an eight-story Sheraton Inn in downtown Rock Island were announced today at a luncheon meeting at the Gay Nineties sponsored by the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce. Cost of the structure is estimated at $2.5 million. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Representatives of the Hardee's Golf Classic and tournament sponsor Hardee's Food Systems may meet next week with PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to discuss a possible change in the tournament dates.