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Kellogg's Workers Reject Agreement

1,400 Kellogg's workers are back on the picket line after overwhelmingly rejecting the latest offer

Brian Young's picture
Dec 07, 2021

On December 2nd the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) announced that they had reached a tentative agreement with Kellogg’s to end a nearly two-month-long strike at Kellogg. Once the agreement was reached, the union sent it to the membership to be voted on. That vote has concluded, and the members have rejected the agreement sending them back out onto the picket lines.

In a statement announcing the results, BCTGM President Anthony Shelton said “The members have spoken. The strike continues. The International Union will continue to provide full support to our striking Kellogg’s members.”

One of the big sticking points during negotiations has been the two-tier wage system. This system offers “transitional” workers lower wages and benefits than their “legacy” co-workers. Currently, the number of transitional workers is capped at 30% of the workforce. Under the agreement that was voted down any transitional worker with more than four years of experience would be converted to a legacy employee. However, Dan Osborn, a plant mechanic and president of the local in Omaha told HuffPost that many members were skeptical of this since most transitional workers did not have four years of service time with the company. He said only about 15 workers at the Omaha plant would have been converted to legacy workers.

The veteran workers throughout the process promised their younger workers that they would not sell them out in contract talks. The rejection of the agreement would seem to be these workers keeping their promise to continue to fight for the elimination of the two-tier system.

While the union did not release numbers on the vote, they described the vote as “overwhelmingly” against the deal. Both sides will now have to go back to the bargaining table to continue to address some of the issues that caused the members to vote down the deal.

In the meantime, the company has previously said that they will hire permanent replacement workers to restart the production of their cereals. Announcing that permanent scabs will come in is also a tactic that companies use to pressure workers to end a strike and come back to work. Currently, Congress is considering the PRO Act which would ban the hiring of permanent replacement workers.

With the Christmas season coming and Kellogg’s workers still on strike, consider donating to the union’s strike fund so that these 1,400 families can survive on the picket line and provide some Christmas gifts for their families. Since there are 1,400 people on strike, can you give $14 or $140 to the fund today? Click here to donate.

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