Boycott Kellogg's Cereals
1,400 Kellogg's workers take part in nationwide cereal strike
It may seem like a broken record at this point, but for the third time this year the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Milling (BCTGM) union has gone on strike at a major food producer. This time the nationwide strike is against Kellogg’s cereal.
The strike, which began on Tuesday, includes workers in Battle Creek, Mich. (Local 3G), Omaha, Neb. (Local 50G), Lancaster, Pa. (Local 374G), and Memphis, Tenn. (Local 252G) walking out. These plants make some of the biggest staples of morning breakfasts including Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, and Frosted Flakes. The Battle Creek location is also where the company is headquartered and was the former site of Kellogg’s Cereal City USA.
According to the union, the company is looking to cut retirement benefits, healthcare costs, as well as holiday and vacation pay. They are also threatening to move production to Mexico if the workers don’t agree to these cuts. Todd Minusos, a second-generation Kellogg worker in Battle Creek, says that for the last 18 months, the company treated them like essential workers as they worked throughout the pandemic to ensure supermarket shelves were stocked. Now he feels like he was slapped in the face by management with their demands for cuts and regressive givebacks.
Minusos says that he still has the letter the company gave them deeming them essential workers, but the company seems to have forgotten how essential they really are. He also says making it through the pandemic brought the workers closer together and that they succeeded through it in spite of management. That solidarity has only bolstered their willingness to go out on strike until they get a fair contract.
According to financial documents from Kellogg, the company made 1.761 billion in profits in 2020, up from 1.4 billion in 2019. This was the company’s largest profit since 2013, yet they are still demanding cuts.
Some of the other main sticking points in negotiations include the company’s attempt to create a two-tier wage system. This would allow new workers to be brought in at lower wages, putting high paid older workers’ jobs on the chopping block and setting up these workers to either be fired and replaced with lower-paid workers or for the company to negotiate down raises and wages for these workers in the next contract. To prove just how petty the company is getting, they are also insisting on removing the union bug that is printed on every box of Kellogg cereal. This bug has been on the cereal box for decades and has never been a problem for the company until now.
Since this is a nationwide strike, the union has asked everyone to refrain from buying Kellogg’s products until the strike is over. These products include:
- Rice Krispies
- Raisin Bran
- Froot Loops
- Corn Flakes
- Frosted Flakes
- Frosted Mini-Wheats
- Shredded Wheat
There is currently not a boycott on snacks that are made by Kellogg as those workers are under a different contract.
With members out on strike, the union will begin paying strike benefits starting next week. The benefits are small, just $105 a week, so they are asking the union community to donate to their strike funds.