WIUM Tristates Public Radio

State Could Get Involved in Iowa Fertilizer Company Labor Dispute

May 5, 2015

The head of Iowa's economic development agency said she will try to facilitate communication between labor leaders and the people who are overseeing construction of a $1.8 billion fertilizer plant in Lee County that recently issued layoffs.

Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham said she is open to hosting a meeting between the two sides. 

Durham didn't offer a timeline. She spoke Monday with labor leaders and lawmakers.

Iowa Fertilizer Company recently had about 3,000 workers at its construction site near Wever. Layoffs were issued in April to more than 1,400 employees.

The company said the move was related to management.

Labor leaders claim the company is now trying to hire workers from outside the region.

A message left for the company wasn't immediately returned.