BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Employees at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek began a strike in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
It comes as the contract between Kellogg Co. and four Baker Confectionery Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers Unions expired. This impacts the location in Battle Creek, as well as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Memphis, Tennessee and Omaha, Nebraska.
According to their website, the BCTGM's goal is to "obtain a fair contract that provides a living wage and good benefits."
They voted to strike Monday evening.
Union workers at the Kellogg's plant in Battle Creek started gathering outside of the entrances around 1 a.m.
HAPPENING: Kellogg’s union workers are striking outside of their #BattleCreek location.— Lauren Kummer (@LaurenKummerTV) October 5, 2021
This comes as their union, BCTGM, has been in contract negotiations over the last month to “obtain a fair contract that provides a living wage and good benefits”. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/ypLn0FCZKe
A week ago, the union posted an update that said they were fighting to block a system that would prevent some employees from receiving full benefits and earning a pension.
The union says the offer the company brought forth on Friday was not presented to their negotiating committee.
"This has been coming on for a while. Kellogg’s has really been looking to take a lot of things away from the members here, current and future members," said Mark Gregory, a Third Shift Mechanical Representative at Kellogg's Company. They want to take retirement, premium healthcare. They want to take holidays from you. They want to take your vacation from you. It is all about take, take, take so here we are. We are standing up for what we got and we want to keep it," he said.
Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner sent Fox 17 News this 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.
Back in September, Kellogg announced its plans to cut 212 positions at the Battle Creek location by the end of 2023.