Breaking: Kellogg’s BCTGM Union Members Reject Latest Contract
I certainly did not see this coming. When the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) accepted the latest contract offer to be presented to their union members for a vote I assumed it would be accepted. I thought this because the Union Representatives had rejected other contract offers from Kellogg.
Well, I was wrong.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the 1,400 Union workers at the four Kellogg cereal plants have rejected their tentative agreement with the company. Not only did the union members at the Kellogg’s plants in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Omaha, Nebraska; and Memphis, Tennessee reject the offer but they "overwhelmingly voted to reject the tentative agreement”.
Why did they reject the latest contract offer? We do not know yet, no one is reporting on that.
Kellogg issued a statement and stated:
"We are disappointed that the tentative agreement for a master contract over our four U.S. cereal plants was not ratified by employees…The tentative agreement would have provided an accelerated, defined path to legacy wages and benefits for transitional employees, and wage increases and enhanced benefits for all, on top of what is already an industry-leading compensation package, among other items. The tentative agreement included no concessions or takeaways."
What is next, I assume back to the negotiations table, or perhaps not.
In the Kellogg statement they also stated:
"the prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to hire permanent replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers."
Does this mean all of the striking employees will be fired or laid-off? It certainly sounds like it.
Let’s hope both sides can come together quickly before the “permanent replacement employees” are put into place.
Update as of 12-08-2021 at 8:30 am EST:
The AP/Los Angeles Times reported the following:
Rutgers University professor Todd Vachon, who teaches classes about labor relations said:
“By voting ‘no,’ the workers are making a strong statement that they are not satisfied by the agreement, but they are also signaling they believe they have the leverage that’s needed to win more"
We also find a little more insight into why the union members voted this contract down. The president of the local Omaha union, Dan Osborn, stated that the contract did not allow for enough employees with less time on the job to move up to the legacy pay level. He then stated:
“Ultimately, we don’t want to leave anyone behind. And we want a secure future".
Hopefully, that future will not be on the unemployment line.
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