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ANDERSON — Workers at the Nestle plant in Anderson have taken another step toward unionizing by filing for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.

Jeff Combs, secretary/treasurer with Teamsters Local 135 in Muncie, said ballots have been sent to more than 500 workers at the plant to allow for a formal vote. The ballots will be gathered and counted by the NLRB on April 27. A simple majority in favor of unionizing is required for the measure to pass.

“We feel like we’ll walk away with a strong contract for all the workers and the future workers there in Anderson,” Combs said.

Teamsters officials first met with workers at the plant in October 2019. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the process, according to Teamsters organizer Dustin Roach. But the desire to move forward has been steadfast, he said.

“The company has done an aggressive union avoidance campaign, as they call it,” Roach said. “They’ve brought people in from all over the country to try and discourage this.”

He added that the workers in Anderson are receiving encouragement from other Nestle workers unions in Illinois, Wisconsin and throughout Canada, as well as other places.

“We’re working on political support, as well, to show these workers that they’re not alone,” Roach said. “It’s been a pretty involved campaign.”

An email seeking comment from Nestle officials was not returned.

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.

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