by Sloan T. Wilson, The Chicago Times
December 7, 2021
BATTLE CREEK, MI — On Tuesday, Kellogg Co announced that a majority of its cereal plant workers in the United States voted against a new five-year contract, requiring the company to recruit permanent replacements as employees extend a strike that began almost two months ago.
Temporary replacements have already been on the job at the company’s cereal mills in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, where 1,400 union members went on strike on October 5 after their contracts expired and negotiations overcompensation and benefits failed.
None of the firm’s six offers – including the most recent one put to a vote, which suggested compensation hikes and permitted all transitional employees with four or more years of service to shift to heritage roles – came to fruition, according to the corporation.
The planned two-tier structure, in which transitory personnel receive lower pay and benefits than longer-tenured staff, would take power away from the union by lifting the cap on the number of lower-tier employees, according to union members.
As the labor market tightens, numerous US companies, including Deere & Co, have faced worker strikes in recent months.