Unionized employees at three Mondelēz facilities are on strike, as the company and its employees are at an impasse over mandated hours and other issues.
The strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union started in mid-August at a production plant in Portland, Ore., and has spread to another plant in Richmond, Va., and a distribution center in Aurora, Colo. The three facilities make and handle cookies, crackers and other products for Mondelēz’s Nabisco unit.
The major issue is how Mondelēz can require additional hours, and how much it will pay. The current setup is that workers get paid time and a half for any hours above eight that they work in a day, plus any time worked on Saturday, and double time on Sunday. Mondelēz wants to pay time and a half only for any hours worked above 40 in any given week, regardless of what days those hours fell on.
Mondelēz frames this as an issue of flexibility, saying its plan is to allow workers to work 12-hour shifts three to four days a week. But workers say it would end up costing them money – in some cases, up to $10,000 a year. Mondelēz also wants to give new hires a health plan less generous than the one in place.
Saying that the strike was “to keep what we’ve already got,” a worker and union rep told HuffPost that “the job they want to give us wouldn’t even be worth fighting for.”