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Friday, December 9, 2022

After being on strike since October, Kellogg employees have ratified a new contract with the company

The union representing around 1,400 striking Kellogg employees said Tuesday that the workers had approved a new contract, bringing an end to a strike that started in early October and disrupted four of the company’s cereal mills in the United States.

A statement from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union, which represents the striking workers, said, “Our striking members at Kellogg’s ready-to-eat cereal production facilities courageously stood their ground and sacrificed so much in order to achieve a fair contract.” “This deal results in advantages and does not involve any compromises,” says the author.

Mr. Steve Cahillane, the company’s chairman and chief executive, expressed his delight at the agreement, which was endorsed by the employees in a press release. In addition, he said, “We are looking forward to their return and the continuation of production of our popular cereal brands for our customers and consumers.”

In early December, employees rejected an agreement on a five-year contract between their union and the corporation, prompting the company to declare that it would press through with recruiting permanent replacement workers. This heightened the tensions in the strike.

The president entered the fray a few days later, declaring that the plan to replace employees was “very worrisome” and that it represented “an existential assault on the union and its members’ jobs and lives.”

The contract disagreement arose in part because of the business’s two-tier pay scheme, under which staff recruited after 2015 earned lower salary and less generous perks than experienced workers, according to the company. According to the corporation, employees with more than five years of experience earn more than $35 an hour on average, while those with less than five years of experience earn slightly less than $22 an hour.

Historically, veteran employees have complained that the two-tier structure has put downward pressure on their pay and benefits since they may be outvoted or replaced by younger, less expensive workers.

Under the terms of the deal that Kellogg employees rejected in early December, the firm would have instantly conferred veteran pay and benefit status to all employees who had four or more years of service at the business. In addition, it would have provided veteran status to a number of employees equivalent to 3 percent of a plant’s total head count in each of the contract’s five years.

Initially, the accord would have provided veteran employees with a 3 percent salary rise in the first year, in addition to cost of living increases.

A Kellogg spokesperson said that although the plan for converting newer employees to veteran status remained identical, the firm increased the scope of cost-of-living compensation increases to include all employees in each year of the contract.

New employees will see an instant raise in their salaries to little more than $24 an hour, while experienced employees will see an immediate increase in their wages of $1.10 per hour.

David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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