About 1,400 Kellogg workers went on strike last Tuesday. Union members hoped that the strike will make Kellogg Co come to terms with workers over a fair contract.
Kellogg Workers Went On Strike As CBA Expired Monday
The maker of breakfast cereals spent the last few weeks negotiating with the union overpayments and benefits. However, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expired midnight Monday. Without a new agreement in place, the union went on strike.
Anthony Shelton is president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union.
Specifically, Shelton accused management of asking Kellogg workers to give up quality health care, retirement benefits, and holiday and vacation pay. He also said that the company threatened to send additional jobs to Mexico if they can’t work out a deal with Kellogg workers.
In contrast, Kellogg insists that its compensation and benefits for its US cereal plant workers are among the industry’s best. The company earns about one-third of its sales from cereals.
Kellogg owns popular brands such as Rice Krispies, Cocoa Puffs, and Frosted Flakes. Spokesperson Kris Bahner said that the strike was a surprise. “We are disappointed by the union’s decision to strike … our offer includes increases to pay and benefits for our employees,” she said.
Currently, the company is dealing with contingency plans to deal with supply disruptions. This includes the utilization of internal and third-party resources.
The Kellogg workers’ strike covered the company’s four cereal plants across the country. This consists of plants in Battle Creek, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee. The union used a modified version of the Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger.
Instead of the usual slogan of “They’re Greeeat!” the signs said that “They’re Greeeedy!”. Many pictures of the strike ended up on social media.
Daniel Osborn, president of the local union in Omaha, said the union is ready to dig in. He noted that the strike already went on for 18 hours. “The company has a pretty good idea on how long they are willing to hold out and we are going to stand fast as long as we have to,” Osborn added.
Shelton issued a statement that the BCTGM is throwing all-out support to the Kellogg workers. The union “stands in unwavering solidarity with our courageous brothers and sisters who are on strike.”
Union Previously Held A Strike At Nabisco
Meanwhile, the BCTGM also led a weeks-long strike at Nabisco, another popular food company.
Previously, the strike occurred as union workers protested a decision by Mondelez International, owner of Nabisco. Workers resisted the proposed changes to shift durations and overtime rules.
As a result, over a thousand Nabisco workers joined the strike. In particular, the protest covered three bakeries and three sales distribution facilities.
Consequently, the five-week strike ended on September 18. The union announced that its members overwhelmingly approved a four-year contract with Mondelez. Specifically, the company said that the new terms will apply retroactively to March 2021.
It will include “hourly wage increases each year of the contract, increased company match to 401(k) contributions and updates to certain workplace policies”. Reportedly, workers will get raises of 2.25 percent in 2021 and 60 cents per hour in each of the next three years.
Watch the 13 On Your Side video reporting that Kellogg’s workers are on strike:
Do you support the strike initiated by Kellogg workers? Do you think management will back down, or will it push through with its threat to move to Mexico?
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