A union representing almost 100 workers at a Newman cheese plant and the plant's owners, one of the nation's largest cheese manufacturers, ended labor negotiations after the union OK'd a new contract.
Teamsters Local 386, which has members from Merced County, and Saputo Cheese have come to an agreement over a union contract after a majority of the union's rank and file voted in favor of a new five-year contract, according to the union.
"We are pleased we were able to come to a contract that moves our members up to industry standards," said Jeff Berbion, president of Local 386.
The contract included annual pay increases of at least 50 cents and other concessions from the employer.
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A Saputo representative could not be reached for comment.
The Canada-based international cheese and dairy products company had a 2009 revenue of almost $6 billion.
The company has six facilities in California, as well as plants in Europe, Argentina and Canada.
According to Foodnavigator-USA.com, a food industry website, Saputo bought F&A Dairy, which owned the Newman plant, in 2009 for $44.5 million. Before the purchase, F&A Dairy had 113 employees and produced 60 million pounds of cheese a year. It recorded $140 million in annual sales.