Kellogg says it will replace striking workers after contract rejection

The Kellogg Company said it will hire permanent replacements for striking workers after they rejected a proposed five-year contract with the company on Tuesday. 

In a statement, Kellogg North America President Chris Hood said the company will continue to move forward with daily operations after 19 negotiation sessions with striking workers this year. 

Hood also said the company had "no choice but to continue executing the next phase of our contingency plan including hiring replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers."

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Temporary workers have been stationed at the company’s cereal plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, according to NPR

"While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity," Hood said in the statement. "We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love."

About 1,440 Kellogg employees went on strike two months ago when the company and their union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), failed to reach an agreement on the terms of a new contract after the previous contract expired.  

In the proposed contract rejected on Tuesday, Kellog offered to raise wages for longtime legacy employees by 3 percent and for other workers, including new hires, by rates based on their years of service.

In a statement, the BCTGM said it will continue to provide support for striking Kellogg workers. 

"The BCTGM is grateful for the outpouring of fraternal support we received from across the labor movement for our striking members at Kellogg's. Solidarity is critical to this fight," the union said in the statement.