20 Members of RWDSU Local 110 Win $241 Million Jackpot
Dream Comes True for Unionized Workers at Quaker Oats Plant
Des Moines, Iowa—Twenty unionized workers at the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids won the $241 Million Powerball jackpot, the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), UFCW, announced today. Known as the shipping 20, because they all have spent years working together in the shipping department of the plant, they are proud members of RWDSU Local 110, which has represented employees at the plant for more than 60 years.
They are traveling today by bus from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines to claim their prize and participate in an official ceremony with Quaker and the Iowa State Lottery. The shipping 20, who are withholding their names for legal reasons but requested this release from their union, range in age from 35 to 64, and their years of service range from ten years to forty years per employee. Collectively, they have more put in more than 640 years of service at the unionized plant.
They have been buying Powerball tickets for the past fifteen years and finally hit the jackpot this year. One of the workers in the shipping 20 bought the winning ticket. Together, they are thinking about how to contribute in a positive way to their RWDSU Local 110 family and to community initiatives that will benefit residents in and around Cedar Rapids.
“The union has stood up for us, on and off the job, and brought us together as one family. We’ve been through a lot together, especially since the flood of 2008, and this has given us a renewed appreciation for our union values,” said one of the Powerball winners, a long-time worker at the plant.
The flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids affected the shipping department and all other areas of the plant, and since that time these twenty dedicated workers have jointly put in many extra hours in order to get the massive water-damaged facility up and running again. They told RWDSU official this week they know the important and historic role the Quaker plant has played in Iowa’s economy for decades.
“These guys have worked very hard for many years, and they want to use their good fortune to make life better for others at the plant and in their community. This is a great American story but also a great union story. These are some of the most decent and generous people you’ll ever meet, and all of our members couldn’t be happier for them,” said Al Hartl Jr., President of RWDSU Local 110.
About the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), UFCW, represents 100,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada in retail, food-processing, and other industries. For more info, visit www.rwdsu.org.