Workers in All of Kellogg's Cereal Plants Have Gone on Strike
In July, Frito-Lay employees went on strike, followed by Pepsi truck drivers. Then, in August, Nabisco bakers went on strike as well. All of those strikes were resolved with new agreements, so it probably shouldn't be surprising that similar unions would follow suit: Yesterday, workers at Kellogg's U.S. cereal plants walked off the job, hoping to finally put an end to contract negotiations that have reportedly dragged on for over a year.
About 1,400 workers across all four of Kellogg's cereal plants in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee; are currently striking according to the Associated Press. However, the news organization did stress that it isn't yet clear how these strikes will affect the availability of the company's cereals — though Kellogg did reportedly state that they would be "implementing contingency plans" to try to keep products on shelves.
Daniel Osborn, the local president in Omaha for the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), told the AP that the dispute revolves around pay and benefit issues such as healthcare, vacation pay, and retirement benefits, with Kellogg apparently using the possibility of taking the jobs out of the country as pushback.
"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," Anthony Shelton, president of the BCTGM, was quoted as saying.
"For more than a year throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Kellogg workers around the country have been working long, hard hours, day in and day out, to produce Kellogg ready-to-eat cereals for American families," Shelton added in a statement to The New York Times. "We will support them for as long as it takes to force Kellogg to negotiate a fair contract that rewards them for their hard work and dedication and protects the future of all Kellogg workers."
In response, Kellogg's issued a statement saying, "We are disappointed by the union's decision to strike. Kellogg provides compensation and benefits for our U.S. ready to eat cereal employees that are among the industry's best." Additionally, the company added, "We remain committed to achieving a fair and competitive contract that recognizes the important work of our employees and helps ensure the long-term success of our plants and the company. We remain ready, willing and able to continue negotiations and hope we can reach an agreement soon."