Conagra plant sign

Conagra Brands Inc. produces McGriddle breakfast sandwiches and other food items at its Louisville plant.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – About 265 union workers who make McGriddles and other frozen foods at Conagra Brands Inc.'s east Louisville plant rejected a proposed labor contract on Wednesday, teeing up a possible strike in coming months.

Conagra's proposal would have resulted in higher health insurance costs while failing to address workers' concerns about forced overtime and double shifts, said John Stovall, president of Teamsters Local 783, the union representing the plant’s line workers.

Workers "sent a pretty strong message" by voting overwhelmingly to reject the four-year contract, Stovall said.

The plant at 12650 Westport Road makes McGriddle breakfast sandwiches for McDonald’s restaurants as well as hot cakes and biscuits.

It's one of 33 U.S. production sites for Conagra, the Chicago-based food giant.

A Conagra spokesman did not return a call and email on Thursday.

While workers have voted to go on strike if necessary, Stovall said the union will keep talking with Conagra during a 60-day “cooling-off period.”

"We will go back and try to renegotiate," he said.

Senior production workers at the plant earn a little more than $20 an hour, Stovall said.

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Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.