Production of Kellogg’s breakfast cereal has been halted as workers at all of the company’s US plants have gone on strike.
Approximately 1,400 workers went on strike on Tuesday at Kellogg’s plants in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.
The union representing the workers has been failing to obtain any concessions for more than a year — and claim that the company has been threatening to move production to Mexico instead of bargaining with them. The union has been at an impasse with Kellogg’s over the loss of premium health care, holiday and vacation pay and reduced retirement benefits.
“The company continues to threaten to send additional jobs to Mexico if workers do not accept outrageous proposals that take away protections that workers have had for decades,” Anthony Shelton, president of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, told the Associated Press.
1,400 workers who produce cereals from Fruit Loops to Frosted Flakes are on strike at four Kellogg’s plants in the US pic.twitter.com/fz4EBJYgif
— Michael Sainato (@msainat1) October 5, 2021
Daniel Osborn, president of the local union in Omaha, told the AP that he has a problem with the idea of Kellogg’s potentially producing food outside of the control of the Food and Drug Administration.
“A lot of Americans probably don’t have too much issue with the Nike or Under Armor hats being made elsewhere or even our vehicles, but when they start manufacturing our food down where they are out of the FDA control and OSHA control, I have a huge problem with that,” Osborn said.
Kellogg’s has said that they agreed to increases wages and benefits — and that most of their employees already made an average of $120,000 per year.
— Hannah Knowles (@HannahWWMT) October 5, 2021
“We are disappointed by the union’s decision to strike. Kellogg provides compensation and benefits for our U.S. ready to eat cereal employees that are among the industry’s best,” Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner said in a statement.
The company also said that they are “implementing contingency plans” to prevent severe supply disruptions. Osborn said that he believes that this means they are bringing in non-union workers to fill in.