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, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.