HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Workers at a popular cereal company went on strike Tuesday causing production of items like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and Raisin Bran to halt at plants in the mid-west and eastern region.
Plant workers in Nebraska, Michigan, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania are calling for better pay and more benefits, and have walked out of their factories on strike. According to the Associated Press, the workers union and Kellogg have been locked in a dispute over pay and benefits for over a year. The union is claiming workers have lost premium health care, holiday and vacation pay, and have had retirement benefits reduced.
The president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union also told the A.P. that Kellogg has also threatened to send jobs to Mexico. A local union leader in Omaha, Nebraska says the threat of relocation will not only hurt jobs for Americans in need but will potentially lessen regulation from federal entities like the Food and Drug Administration or Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A Kellogg spokesperson stated the company has implemented contingency plans to limit supply disruptions for consumers. However, WDVM spoke with shoppers in Hagerstown who said they are more worried about the treatment of those workers on strike.
“The nation is in bad shape with the virus and everything and these companies reducing the employees’ money or wages is outrageous actually,” Hagerstown resident Roger Ross said. “They do work hard for the money and it’s really ridiculous how they’re being treated.”
Shaun Geesey expressed concern for the supply chain, citing that other foods like chicken have also faced shortages, but expressed sympathy for the plant workers.
“Honestly, I just feel bad for them. I mean yeah they’re [Kellogg] like a really big company, but like the way that they’re going, and the way that they have to do extra work, I honestly feel bad for them,” Geesey said. “They’re not getting paid the way they’re supposed to be.”
Kellogg is not the first major company to experience a worker strike in regards to wages and benefits…
Workers at a Frito-Lay plant in Kansas went on strike earlier in the summer to protest working conditions during the pandemic which included forced overtime.