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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.