Kellogg to replace striking employees as workers reject new contract
The Kellogg plant, Battle Creek, Michigan was the scene of a demonstration by union workers on Friday Oct. 22, 2021.
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Kellogg said on Tuesday a majority of its U.S. cereal plant workers have voted against a new five-year contract, forcing it to hire permanent replacements as employees extend a strike that started more than two months ago.
The temporary replacements are already working in the cereal plants of Tennessee, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. This strike was started by 1,400 members of unions on October 5, when their contracts were terminated and negotiations over benefits and payment stalled.
As expected, there has been an increase in interest at each of the four locations for permanent replacement roles. Kris Bahner, spokesperson for Kellogg said that some new employees are expected to join the company soon.
Kellogg stated that there were no more bargaining sessions and the union had no plans of meeting with it.
“Unrealistic expectations” were created by the union and meant no of six of their offers (including the one currently up for vote) came true. This included the proposal of wage increases, as well as the possibility of legacy job opportunities for all those with at least four years’ service.
Jeffrey Jens, a union member said that they have created a clear path – however it’s too complicated and unfair for many.
The union members claim that the two-tiered system in which transitional workers get less pay and benefits than those who are longer-tenured would remove power from the union.
Many politicians, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have supported the union. However many Kellogg customers are saying they will boycott their products.
Kellogg, one of several American companies is included Deere,These workers have gone on strike in the last few months, as the labor market gets tighter.