Kellogg Sends Salaried Workers to Plant Floors

Oct. 11, 2021
Kellogg Co. is bringing salaried employees and other alternative labor into plants to try to reopen cereal plants shut down by a strike.

Kellogg Co. is bringing salaried employees and other alternative labor into plants to try to reopen cereal plants shut down by a strike.

The strike, called Oct 5 after a union contract expired, is affecting all of Kellogg’s ready-to-eat cereal plants: in Battle Creek, Mich., its corporate headquarters; Lancaster, Pa.; Memphis, Tenn., and Omaha, Neb. Kellogg reported on a company website that it is “implementing contingency plans to mitigate supply disruptions, including using salaried employees and third-party resources to produce food.”

Strikers expressed doubt that new employees would be able to run the plants. “I hope nobody gets hurt,” one worker commented. “Equipment in there is very dangerous, we spend a lot of time learning how to run the equipment.”

Major points of contention in the strike, called by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union, are mandatory overtime and a two-tiered wage structure, with lower wages and benefits for new hires that strikers say set workers against each other. The lower-wage tier is currently capped at 30% of total employees; strikers say the company wants to remove that cap.

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