Strike at Kellogg comes to a close; workers to return Monday

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A strike at Kellogg Company that has gone on since early October ended after workers voted to ratify a new labor contract at the company’s four U.S. cereal plants.

The contract covers approximately 1,400 workers represented by the union at plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Kellogg said Tuesday the new contract provides immediate, across the board wage increases and enhanced benefits for all. It also provides an accelerated, defined path to top-tier wages, a major sticking point for workers, and benefits for transitional employees.

“We are pleased that we have reached an agreement that brings our cereal employees back to work,” CEO Steve Cahillane said in a prepared statement.

Workers that have been on strike since Oct. 5 will return to work on Monday, Kellogg said, after the holiday.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union said the contract is a win for workers.

“This agreement makes gains and does not include any concessions,” union President Anthony Shelton said in a prepared statement.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union voted on the new offer over the weekend. The offer includes cost-of-living adjustments and a $1.10 per hour raise for all employees.

Earlier this month, an overwhelming majority of workers voted down a five-year offer that would have provided 3% raises and cost of living adjustments in coming years to most, but not all of the workers.

Workers have been on strike at plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee. They make all of the company’s well-known brands of cereal, including Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes.

Kellogg said most workers at its cereal plants earned an average of $120,000 last year, though union members said they work more than 80 hours a week to earn that, and those wages only are available to longtime workers. Under the two-tiered pay system the company uses, newer workers are paid less and receive fewer benefits.

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