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Peeps workers go on strike amid Easter, Valentine's Day production

A file photo shows workers making Peeps at the Just Born factory in Bethlehem, Pa.
Matt Rourke | AP
A file photo shows workers making Peeps at the Just Born factory in Bethlehem, Pa.

With holiday candy production in full swing, 400 workers behind the iconic Peeps candy voted to go on strike and took to the picket line on Wednesday.

Peeps manufacturer Just Born didn't disclose the percentage of production currently offline due to the strike. The company also has nonunion workers who are still at work making the candies, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

The company is currently producing Peeps for Valentine's Day and Easter, though Easter candy is produced all year round. In addition to Peeps, the company is known for its Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales candies.

Earlier this year, Just Born and the union had started negotiations about the workers' pension plan and health insurance costs. On Sept. 2, the workers, who are members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, voted in favor of a strike.

"The workers at the company's Peeps plant have devoted much of their lives to producing these iconic Just Born candies. And the company has benefited from their skills and dedication through soaring profits," said Hank McKay, president of the union's Local 6 chapter, which represents the unionized candy workers at the plant. "Workers deserve to be treated fairly with reasonable wage increases and a pension that allows them to retire with dignity."

In a statement, Just Born said it is committed to working with the union to reach an agreement.

"The union has not accurately portrayed our position or our willingness to reach a fair and equitable agreement with its members," the statement said.