HOUSTON Workers at a coffee plant in east Houston were protesting Thursday over pay and health benefits, saying they got a bad deal.

More than 200 union workers at Maximus Coffee walked off the job and onto a picket line because they were upset with the terms in a proposed contract their union has been negotiating since July.

After the protest began, supervisors were brought in on buses and a few temporary workers drove in; all to a rude reception.

Hey don t be like that! You gon let it be all in vain? Come on, man, you don t need that money that bad! It s not worth what you re getting paid, I m telling you. It s not worth it. Come on, man! Traitor, one protestor yelled.

In a statement, the company s president said his group was prepared for the strike and did not expect it to last very long. He added that he is making significant efforts to reach a deal with the employees to end the strike, but the timetable to accomplish that was uncertain.

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