Dotson Iron Casting workers on strike for safety concerns

80 workers from Dotson Iron Castings, which was recently bought by MacLean Power, are on strike.
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 6:19 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - 80 workers from Dotson Iron Castings, which was recently bought by MacLean Power, are on strike.

“So with it being super hot and everything Dotson has their own heat regulations that we’re supposed to take every thirty minutes or hour or whatever it is but ever since I’ve been working there, I’ve been working there for almost three years. It’s never been implemented, and it’s always go, go, go production over safety,” said Josiah Dahlgren.

The USW 142B Dotson and MPS employees gathered in old town, near the Dotson building and started striking Sunday night.

“We want a seat it at the table, right? We want some say in the safety. We want to be able to participate, to turn the safety back around,” said Justin Recla.

Representatives say workers are striking for a safer work environment, better work, and life balance, as well as additional training and more inclusive onboarding process.

“All we’re asking for is a seat at the table and that these temporary employees be given the same safety oppertunities to keep them safe as well. Cause these employees are coming in they’re not getting any training they’re coming to work with us and they could hurt themselves or one of us. We can expect to work some mandatory overtime. We just want some parameters around that. These folks have been working anywhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 hours of mandatory overtime every week for years, and they’re just exausted, right,” said Recla.

Workers say they are prepared to be out striking as long as it takes.

“We’re not going to cave, just because it’s safety, we’re not going to compromise on safety, so,” said Recla.

In a statement sent to KEYC News Now, Dotson in part says, “Dotson has been diligently meeting with the Union to work toward a new contract, and we have made substantial progress toward that goal. Dotson continues to meet with the Union to exchange perspectives and ideas through both talking and listening. While we don’t feel the strike helps the parties arrive at a mutually agreeable contract, Dotson recognizes employees’ right to strike, and it has not discouraged Dotson from continuing to work productively toward an agreement. In the meantime, Dotson employees and others will continue to work at our facility to keep operations running and serving our valued customers.”