To give the drivers a boost and to show his support, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent two of his representatives to the strikers.
In an hour-long, private meeting under the strikers’ tent, the representatives expressed Brown’s support of their actions, according to Mark Schmiehausen, a trustee and business representative of Teamsters’ Union Local 20
“We definitely know we have the support of Sherrod Brown and his office, and we appreciate that,” he said. “(Friday) we’re going to be going over negotiations at 9 o’clock in the morning (with Maple City Ice) and hopefully we’re going to have a productive day.”
Brown offered his support in a prepared media statement as well, calling the business owners to action.
““Maple City Ice drivers came to work every day with the expectation that the pension plan they were promised would provide financial security for drivers and their families when they retired,” he said. “I urge Maple City executives to work with the drivers and other stakeholders to resolve the dispute and ensure these workers can continue to count on the pensions they have worked so hard to secure.”
Schmiehausen said Brown’s representation was a welcome boost for the 15 strikers, but the drivers are unsure of the outcome.
“Sherrod Brown has assured us he’s interested in what’s going on here and we have his full support,” he said. “We appreciate their support because the negotiation is always a give and take. It’s the struggle of the pension. I don’t know what to expect tomorrow.”
While he couldn’t give specifics, Schmiehausen said ideally they’re looking for a simple solution.
“(We want) a resolution of this issue,” he said. “We’re hoping that this issue will be a better day. It’s the pension, it’s not like there are multiple issues. It’s the most precious benefit these men have.”
Maple City Ice could not be reached for comment.