Kellogg permanently replaces employees who strike when workers refuse new contracts

FILE PHOTO: Union workers still on strike in Battle Creek
FILE PHOTO: Union workers from Kellogg’s gather with signs while they pick outside the cereal producer’s headquarters as they remain on strike in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S., October 21, 2021 REUTERS / Emily Elconin

December 7, 2021

By Praveen Paramasivam

(Reuters) – Kellogg Co said on Tuesday a majority of its grain mill workers voted against a new five-year contract that would force the company to hire long-term replacements as employees grow older. The strike term began more than two months ago.

The temporary replacements have been working at the company’s grain plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, where 1,400 union members went on strike on October 5 when their contracts expired. and negotiations over payments and benefits stalled.

“Interest in (permanent replacement) roles has been strong at all four plants, as expected. We expect some new hires to start with the company soon,” said Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner.

Kellogg also said there are no further plans to negotiate and it has no plans to meet with the union either.

The company said the “unrealistic expectations” created by the union meant that none of its six proposals, including the latest one that was put to a vote, proposed to raise salary, and allowing all transitional employees with four or more years of service to move into successor positions, has become a reality.

“They offered a ‘clear path’ – but while it was clear – it was too long and unfair for many people,” said union member Jeffrey Jens.

Union members say the proposed two-tier system, in which transition workers are paid lower wages and benefits than workers who have been in the job longer, would strip the union of power by how to remove the limit on the number of lower level employees.

Several politicians including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have supported the union, while many customers have said they are boycotting Kellogg products.

Kellogg is among several US companies, including Deere & Co, that have faced worker strikes in recent months as the labor market tightens.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta) Kellogg permanently replaces employees who strike when workers refuse new contracts

Bobby Allyn

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