Hundreds of striking union workers at four Kellogg’s cereal plants in the US have overwhelmingly voted to reject a tentative agreement on a five-year contract negotiated between the union and the company, extending a strike that started in early October.
Roughly 1,400 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union “have spoken,” union president Anthony Shelton said in a statement on 7 December. “The strike continues.”
The union is “grateful for the outpouring of fraternal support we received from across the labor movement for our striking members at Kellogg’s,” he added. “Solidarity is critical to this fight.”
Striking employees in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Tennessee produce products like Rice Krispies, Rasin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes.
The strike centres on the company’s two-tier compensation structure, which pays out lower wages and fewer benefits to newer employees, which encompass up to 30 per cent of workers.
Kellogg’s said that the new agreement would move all employees who have worked four or more years with the company into a “legacy” tier.
The company said it is “disappointed that the tentative agreement for a master contract over our four US cereal plants was not ratified by employees.”
The work stoppage “has left us no choice but to hire permanent replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers,” according to the company.