About 1,400 Kellogg's workers in Battle Creek and beyond have been on strike for nearly two months, demanding better wages and benefits. The strike could soon come to an end, if members of its union agree to a new offer put forth by the cereal company.
Under the new agreement, Kellogg's is offering all workers a 3% raise under a five-year deal. The agreement also includes cost of living adjustments and maintains the workers' current health benefits. Like many labor disputes in recent years, it also deals with a disputed two-tier wage system, and Kellogg's is now allowing workers with at least four years of experience to move into the higher-pay tier.
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union International president Anthony Shelton responded to the agreement in a statement.
“Late last night, BCTGM negotiators reached a tentative agreement with Kellogg’s on a new contract. In the coming days, the Local Union officers on the bargaining committee will present the tentative agreement to their respective memberships who will then vote on the agreement on Sunday, December 5 at destinations determined by each local union.
I want to thank and commend all of the members of the bargaining committee for their many, many hours of extremely hard work to reach this tentative agreement. As always in our Union, the members will have the final say on the contract.”
According to a recent Rolling Stone article, Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane is paid some $12 million a year, nearly 280 times the company average. Workers complain of grueling conditions — up to 84-hour weeks — and say the two-tier system results in lower-tier workers making up to $40,000 less than the higher-tier workers, depending on overtime. (The company, which recently posted $4 billion in profits, disputes these figures, though it admitted to Rolling Stone that it cut off the striking workers' health care benefits, and contemplated bringing in non-union workers.)
Kellogg's workers will vote on the new contract Sunday.
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