A is for apple. J is for jacks. S is for strike.
Workers at four Kellogg Company factories are on strike in an effort to fight for better wages and benefits.
An estimated 1,400 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers’ International Union are participating. The plants are located in Battle Creek, Michigan—where the company is headquartered—in addition to Omaha, Nebraska; Memphis; and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They make cereals including Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, and Frosted Flakes.
The strike might not impact what you eat for breakfast, though.
On a website Kellogg’s created for negotiation updates, the company says it’s turning to contingency plans “to mitigate supply disruptions, including using salaried employees and third-party resources to produce food.”
The union accuses Kellogg’s of demanding employees give up healthcare, retirement benefits, and paid time off, and of threatening to send jobs to Mexico.
“For more than a year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellogg workers around the country have been working long, hard hours, day in and day out, to produce Kellogg ready-to-eat cereals (RTEC) for American families,” it says on its website. “Kellogg is making these demands as they rake in record profits, without regard for the well-being of the hardworking men and women who make the products that have created the company’s massive profits.”
The cereal giant contests that stance. For example, the food manufacturer says the average 2020 earnings for the majority of RTEC employees was $120,000.
“We are disappointed by the union’s decision to strike. Kellogg provides compensation and benefits for our U.S. RTEC employees that are among the industry’s best. Our offer includes increases to pay and benefits for our employees, while helping us meet the challenges of the changing cereal business,” Kellogg’s spokesperson Kris Bahner said in a written statement.
Nabisco employees also recently went on strike. Their five-week action ended in mid-September and dealt with issues such as pay and work hours. The people who make Oreos, Ritz Crackers, and other snacks also belong to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers’ International Union. And July saw a Frito-Lay strike in Topeka, Kansas, by workers of the same union over issues like wages and days off.
Kellogg’s stock closed Wednesday at $64.40 per share, up $0.38 or 0.59%.