Workers still unsatisfied as Kellogg’s tentative agreement struck down by Union leaders

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 4:10 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The tentative agreement reached last Thursday between Kellogg’s and its Union leaders was overwhelmingly rejected on Tuesday.

Kellogg’s released a statement Tuesday morning with the decision regarding the approximately 1,400 hourly employees at its four U.S. cereal plants, including the one in Omaha.

“We’ll be here until they’re ready to offer us something worth signing,” said Michael Rodarte, one worker on strike.

Company officials say the contract that was rejected between Kellogg and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union would have allowed an accelerated, defined path to legacy wages and benefits for transitional employees, as well as wage increases and enhanced benefits for all.

“After 19 negotiation sessions in 2021, and still no deal reached, we will continue to focus on moving forward to operate our business,” said Chris Hood, President, Kellogg North America. “The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to continue executing the next phase of our contingency plan including hiring replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers.”

“They can bring bodies in but a lot of us are skilled. It’s more than just pushing a start button on a piece of equipment,” said Dan Osborn, President of the local BCTGM Union.

Kellogg’s recently filed a lawsuit against the local union in Omaha in November claiming the striking workers were intimidating replacement workers entering the plant.

“While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity,” Hood said. “We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love.”

The strike originally began in early October.

“I think the biggest problem that we have with this contract and why it got voted down was it doesn’t offer the security we are looking for our futures and for our future employees. They want to remove the cap on how many lower-tier workers there can be,” Osborn said.

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