Thursday, October 07, 2021


1,400 Kellogg’s workers at four US plants have gone on strike after their current union contracts expired and amid accusations that the cereal giant is offshoring jobs.

The workers, represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), produce cereals for brands, including Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran, at plants in Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

Workers are on strike against a proposed two-tier system for current and new employees proposed by Kellogg’s. Bidelman said Kellogg’s wants to not offer pensions to new employees, remove cost of living provisions, and make changes in holiday pay and vacations.

Kellogg’s threatening to outsource jobs from the US to Mexico if workers refuse to accept their proposals.

“The company continues to threaten to send additional jobs to Mexico if workers do not accept outrageous proposals that take away protections that workers have had for decades,” said the BCTGM president, Anthony Shelton.

Trevor Bidelman, president of BCTGM Local3G, said “We’re fighting for our future.”

 Kellogg’s announced plans to cut 212 jobs at the Battle Creek, Michigan, plant over the next two years, including 174 positions represented by the union. The plant currently employs about 390 workers. Kellogg’s cited plans to streamline efforts and relocate cereal production to other facilities in North America as reasons for the job cuts.

“This is after just one year ago, we were hailed as heroes, as we worked through the pandemic, seven days a week, 16 hours a day. Now apparently, we are no longer heroes. Very quickly you can go from hero to zero,” added Bidelman. “We don’t have weekends, really. We just work seven days a week, sometimes 100 to 130 days in a row. For 28 days the machines run then rest three days for cleaning. They don’t even treat us as well as they do their machinery.”

“It’s like a death of 1,000 cuts. They’re slowly eliminating jobs out of the Lancaster plant,” said Kerry Williams, who works in processing maintenance at the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, facility. “We had to work through this Covid for the last two years and they’ve just shown disrespect for the union name. They even want to remove our union logo from the cardboard cereal box.”

Kellogg’s reported a profit of $1.25bn in 2020. Cereal sales grew more than 8% in 2020 due to increased demand during the pandemic. The company approved a stock buyback program in February 2020 through December 2022 of $1.5bn. The CEO of Kellogg’s, Steven Cahillane, received around $11.6m in total compensation in 2020.

‘Death of 1,000 cuts’: Kellogg’s workers on why they’re striking | Business | The Guardian

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