TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019  |  IN THIS ISSUE  
Appeals court upholds ruling Ingredion violated labor laws
   
   
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld an earlier ruling that Ingredion, 
which acquired the former Penford plant in Cedar Rapids four years ago, violated the National Labor Relations Act during collective bargaining negotiations " by dealing directly with employees and denigrating a union in the eyes of employees," as well as unilaterally implementing an employment agreement before negotiations reached an impasse.
 
A July 19 opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers dismissed the cornstarch manufacturer's appeal, clearing the way for enforcement of the  National Labor Relations Board  direction that Ingredion must cease and desist from further labor violations, rescind the unilaterally implemented terms and conditions of employment, and compensate employees for losses incurred as a result of its violations.
 
According to the opinion, 165 of the plant's employees were represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union when it acquired the former Penford facility in March 2015. Ingredion assumed the existing collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Aug. 1, 2015, and began negotiations in June. 
 
While union members sought to modify the existing agreement, Ingredion "proposed to start from scratch with an entirely new [agreement] in both substance and form." When no agreement had been reached by Aug. 18, Ingredion declared an impasse and presented its "last, best, and final offer." After rejecting a union's counteroffer on Sept. 10, the company unilaterally implemented the terms of its final offer four days later. 
 
Local 100G filed charges with the NLRB 10 days after that, alleging that Ingredion had engaged in numerous unfair labor practices, including badmouthing the union, threatening job losses if employees went on strike, dealing with employees directly instead of through union representatives and unilaterally implementing new terms and conditions of employment.

Five Cedar Rapids-area McDonald's restaurants will have new ownership as of Aug. 14.
 
Kevin O'Brien, a second generation owner/operator, will acquire restaurants on Williams Boulevard, Blairs Ferry Road, First Avenue, Edgewood Road and on Sixth Avenue in Marion as part of the deal.  
 
The O'Brien Family McDonald's Organization has owned and operated McDonald's restaurants since 1958, and currently owns 18 restaurants in Iowa.
 
With the acquisition, all current employees in the restaurants will be on-boarded and the organization said it plans to hire more than 100 additional employees. The company will host a Hiring Week on Aug. 5-9 at a different McDonald's each day, with on-site interviews and the potential to be hired the same day. Applications will also be taken at www.obrienmcdonalds.com.
  
"With 61 years of experience in Big Macs and french fries, the O'Brien Family McDonald's Organization is dedicated to hiring outstanding people, building and maintaining the best restaurants, and delivering the gold standard experience for its customers," the company said in a release.  

Ed. note: This is the fifth installment of the CBJ's members-only series, (un)Hired Help, which is exploring Iowa's workforce shortage from different angles. You can find the previous installments here .
 
Cultivating a more di­verse office may be part of the answer to a grow­ing skills gap for Corridor employers, but it won't necessarily be easy.
 
With Iowa's unem­ployment rate stuck at 2.4 percent for a year and employers locked in a competition for talent, the ability to recruit and retain candidates from di­verse backgrounds can be a make-or-break issue.
 
Yet racial diversity doesn't always come easily in Iowa. The state's population of 3.1 million is 90.7 percent white, in a country that is only 76.5 percent white.  
 
The number of Latino and Hispanic mi­norities in the state has grown in recent years, but they still only ac­count for 6.2 percent of Iowans, versus 18.3 per­cent of Americans over­all. African-Americans and Asian-Americans, meanwhile, account for only 4 percent and 2.7 percent of the state's population, respectively.
 
It's a topic that comes up regularly in media coverage of Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, if only because the state's racial balance is so different than the country overall, but one that the state's employers are begin­ning to examine as well.
 
Companies "know the people they sell their products and services to are buying them all over the country," explained Jen­nifer Daly, who leads the region's work­force recruitment efforts as president of ICR Iowa. "Their clients are not like their workforce here."
 
Geonetric, which develops websites the health care industry uses to interact with customers, is among those aiming to increase diversity and finding it can be a challenge. The Cedar Rapids-based com­pany is doing better on measures of gen­der diversity, however.
 
"There are others where we really strug­gle, sometimes just getting candidates to the table who represent some different elements of society," said Chief Strategy Officer and co-owner Ben Dillon.
 
Members, read the full story in this week's print and digital editions of the CBJ.
 
Lululemon's space in the Iowa River Landing.  CREDIT FACEBOOK
Lululemon athletica, a yoga-inspired apparel retailer housed in Coralville's Iowa River Landing (IRL), has announced plans to relocate to a larger space within the same district.
 
The new store will increase the retailer's square footage by 40 percent and allow the company to expand on the selection and sizes of its products.
  
Lululemon first moved into the IRL in the fall of 2017 and has seen steady success in the mixed-use development, which is also home to popular restaurants, hotels and retailers.
  
"We knew that lululemon would be widely popular at the Iowa River Landing. We're excited, but not surprised, to hear they've outgrown their space so quickly," said Deanna Trumbull, director of leasing at the Iowa River Landing, in a release. 
  
The success of lululemon is not an anomaly for the IRL, which has positioned itself as a destination shopping spot with tenants like Trader Joe's, J. Jill, Evereve and local specialty shops.
  
This year, crews broke ground on the Xtream Arena powered by Mediacom, which will bring a 5,100-seat multi-purpose facility to the Iowa River Landing, along with a new field house and the Iowa Fitness & Sports Performance Institute. 

Following LME Trucking's abrupt closure of five Iowa facilities earlier this month, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has initiated an investigation and will begin offering assistance to impacted workers.
 
In a release, IWD said it began monitoring media stories about the closings on July 12 after the Minnesota-based company shut down 30 delivery terminals across several states, including five in Iowa, with no prior warning or notification to employees.
 
All persons associated with LME should contact Iowa Workforce Development for unemployment insurance benefits and resources to assist with a job search. Those individuals who did not receive their full pay should immediately contact Labor Services and file a complaint. The webpage with all information for missing wages can be found here.
 
LME's mass shutdown came a month after the company began  paying out a $1.25 million settlement to union workers  in Minnesota after they were laid off abruptly in 2016 from LME affiliate, Lakeville Motor Express.
 
July 31
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.

1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MillionCupsIC/.

Ribbon Cutting: Schultz Strings, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 11 a.m., Schultz Strings, 1190 Twixt Town Road, Cedar Rapids. Join Schultz Strings to celebrate the opening of its new location. Free. For more information, visit bit.ly/2Irvtsn.

Aug. 1
Wake Up Marion: Wickwire Chiropractic, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 8-9 a.m., Wickwire Chiropractic, 955 29th Ave., Suite B, Marion. Get to know Dr. Colt Dewitt and team while meeting other Marion Chamber members. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/31T3vgV.

Taking Care of Business, by South Slope Cooperative, 4:30-6:30 p.m., South Slope, 980 N. Front St., North Liberty. South Slope is thanking local businesses for their impact on the community with an evening of free drinks, appetizers and socializing. For information, visit bit.ly/2xPUvvm.

Aug. 2
First Friday Coffee Connections, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 7:30-8:30 a.m., Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Specialty Care, 585 W. Cherry St., North Liberty. Network at the newly opened PCI clinic in North Liberty. Free. For information, visit bit.ly/2Nqz7Y5.

Ribbon Cutting: Giving Tree Theater, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 4 p.m., Giving Tree Theater, 752 10th St., Marion. Celebrate with Jamie and Andrea Henley, new owners of The Giving Tree Theatre, as they prepare for the opening night of "The Mousetrap." For more, visit bit.ly/2JiQAMR.
See and Be Seen


in the CBJ Book of Lists - THE definitive resource guide for business leaders. Ranked information on Corridor companies by sector, regional market facts and profiles of the most influential people under one cover. Don't be left out - Be Seen! For advertising information, contact Andrea Rhoades at  andrea@corridorbusiness.com .


Note: The CBJ is now observing summer hours through Aug. 30. The CBJ offices will be open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Fridays, 8 a.m.-noon. 
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
 
An Iowa City police officer and shoplifting subject were both injured during an incident Monday afternoon.  According to the Iowa City Police Department, officers responded to a shoplifting complaint at a business located at 11 Highway 1 W. A suspect was located in a nearby area, away from the business. As the investigation was unfolding, an Iowa City police officer was shot multiple times with a weapon and received injuries to his face. The weapon was later identified as a BB gun. The officer also fired his weapon, striking the suspect. The officer and suspect were each transported to a local hospital and are in stable condition, according to a release. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating the incident.
 
Cedar Rapids Police have issued an Operation Quickfind for 16-year-old Miltanae WilsonShe is described as 5'6" and about 140 pounds.  She was last seen in the 400 block of First St. SW on July 4 at about 10:30 p.m. wearing a red and blue dress. She also has a Libra tattoo on her chest.  Anyone with information about her whereabouts should call Cedar Rapids Police at (319) 286-5491.
 
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

The week ahead will be quiet and nice in Eastern Iowa. Temperatures will get progressively warmer through the week and humidity will remain low.  High pressure will be in control and lead to another sunny day. Temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 70s and it will feel comfortable. With mostly clear skies tonight, temperatures will drop into the low 50s by Wednesday morning. Temperatures will climb into the upper 70s to low 80s Wednesday, low 80s Thursday, and low to mid 80s Friday.