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We Can Buy Cereal Again

Rice Krispies and Frosted Flakes are back on the union table

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Dec 21, 2021

This story was written by NPR.

The Kellogg's strike is over.

The union representing striking workers at four Kellogg Co. breakfast cereal plants has ratified a deal to end an 11-week work stoppage.

Approval of a new five-year contract for the 1,400 affected workers came after a tentative deal was announced last week. Kellogg had threatened to replace striking workers at plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, prompting criticism from the Biden administration.

"Our striking members at Kellogg's ready-to-eat cereal production facilities courageously stood their ground and sacrificed so much in order to achieve a fair contract," Anthony Shelton, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, said in a statement Tuesday. "This agreement makes gains and does not include any concessions."

The company said in a statement that the ratified deal "furthers our employees' leading wages and benefits, with immediate, across-the-board wage increases and enhanced benefits for all."

"We are pleased that we have reached an agreement that brings our cereal employees back to work," CEO Steve Cahillane said. "We look forward to their return and continuing to produce our beloved cereal brands for our customers and consumers."

The most contentious issue had been a two-tier benefits system that paid workers hired after 2015 at a lower scale than "legacy" employees. The union said the collective bargaining agreement ratified in a vote over the weekend meant there would be "no permanent two-tiered system." The union also said it had secured a pledge of no plant closings through October 2026, "a clear path to regular full-time employment" and a "significant increase in the pension multiplier."

Kellogg workers at the four plants walked off the job on Oct. 5 after talks on a new agreement hit a roadblock.

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