Striking Kellogg workers reject contract proposal

Over 1,400 striking hourly employees across four Kellogg cereal plants rejected the company's tentative agreement for a five-year contract during negotiations between Kellogg and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), according to a press release from the cereal maker

According to BCTGM's statement on the matter, the vote to reject Kellogg's contract agreement was "overwhelming."

The union says the strike — which has been ongoing since early October — will now continue. 

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Speaking about the vote, BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton stated, according to the union's release, “The members have spoken. The strike continues. The International Union will continue to provide full support to our striking Kellogg’s members."

Meanwhile, Kellogg North America President Chris Hood has said of the recent rejected negotiation, "After 19 negotiation sessions in 2021, and still no deal reached, we will continue to focus on moving forward to operate our business. The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to continue executing the next phase of our contingency plan including hiring replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers."

"While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity," Hood added, according to Kellogg's press release. "We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love."

Late last month, Kellogg stated that it would be hiring permanent workers to replace those on strike as negotiations continued to fail to produce a resolution.

The striking workers in the BCTGM union are employeed in Battle Creek, Mich.; Omaha, Neb.; Lancaster, Pa., and Memphis, Tenn.

One of the issues that caused the union to call for a strike for Kellogg's employees across the country was the company's two-tier system of wages and benefits for workers. Temporary workers, who make up 30 percent of the workforce at Kellogg, reportedly did not have a pathway to becoming permanent employees. 

According to a presentation the company released, the agreement would have allowed employees to move to higher tiers based on how long they worked at Kellogg and granted top-tier status to all employees who had been with the company for at least four years.