Kellogg’s workers begin strike as contract negotiations stall

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kellogg’s workers in multiple U.S. cities, including Memphis, are on strike.

Workers are demanding a fair contract for better living wages and benefits.

In Memphis, workers are lined up outside the Kellogg building on Frisco Avenue in protest.

The Master Contract between the Kellogg Company and four BCTGM Local Unions expired Tuesday.

The Unions are located in Memphis; Battle Creek, MI; Lancaster, PA; and Omaha, NE.

According to the BCTGM Union, the company said Oct. 1 it had provided a comprehensive offer for settlement to the union, but that information was false.

Rob Eafen, President of the BCTHM union, said some employees have died while working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President Kevin Bradshaw said, “This is a clear message to the corporate people that are egotistical and greedy that we can’t stand it.”

Bradshaw said the company should stop being greedy and pay its people.

Workers have promised to stay out on the picket line as long as it takes for their demands to be met.

Some of Kellogg’s brands and foods include Apple Jacks cereal, Club crackers, Eggo waffles, Gardenburger, Kashi, and Frosted Flakes.

The company said in a statement they are “disappointed” by the unions’ decisions to strike. The company said their offer includes increases in pay and benefits, and that they hope to reach an agreement soon.

Kellogg Spokesperson Kris Bahner released the following statement:

Kellogg Company and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union are engaged in negotiations to finalize a master labor contract for our four U.S. Ready to Eat Cereal (RTEC) plants that expired as of Oct. 5. We are disappointed by the union’s decision to strike. Kellogg provides compensation and benefits for our U.S. RTEC employees that are among the industry’s best. Our offer includes increases to pay and benefits for our employees, while helping us meet the challenges of the changing cereal business.

The majority of employees working under this Master Contract enjoy a CPG industry-leading level of pay and benefits, which include above-market wages and pension or 401k. Most employees under this contract have unparalleled, no-cost comprehensive health insurance, while less senior employees have the same health insurance as our salaried employees, but with much lower employee contributions.

Our proposals not only maintain these industry-leading level of pay and benefits, but offer significant increases in wages, benefits and retirement.

We remain committed to achieving a fair and competitive contract that recognizes the important work of our employees and helps ensure the long-term success of our plants and the Company. We remain ready, willing and able to continue negotiations and hope we can reach an agreement soon.