Kellogg Strikers Are Going Back to Work

Union says they got a great deal after 11-week strike
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2021 6:30 PM CST
Kellogg Strike Is Over After 11 Weeks
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally with striking Kellogg workers at Festival Market Square in downtown Battle Creek, Mich., on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.   (Carlin Stiehl/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

After more than two months, the Kellogg strike is officially over—and workers got a deal Tony the Tiger might describe as grrreat, according to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union. The union says workers voted Sunday to ratify a deal announced last week and will return to work on Monday, after the Christmas holiday, the Detroit News reports. The agreement "makes gains and does not include any concessions," union president Anthony Shelton said in a statement. Some 1,400 workers had been on strike since Oct. 5 at the company's cereal plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Shelton said the strikers, who rejected an offer earlier this month, "courageously stood their ground and sacrificed so much in order to achieve a fair contract." The deal workers approved includes a $1.10 per hour raise for all employees. It keeps the company's two-tier wage and benefits system in place, but creates what Kellogg calls an "accelerated path" from the lower tier to the higher one. Under the deal, all current Kellogg workers with more than four years of experience will be shifted to the higher tier, with better pay and expanded benefits.

Michigan State Rep. Jim Haadsma tells the Washington Post that the outcome is a big win for the labor movement and will send a powerful message to other unions. It "shows the continued evolving muscularity of organized labor" the Democrat says. The Kellogg workers "held on and got a little bit more than what they were afforded in the contract two or three weeks ago." During the 11-week strike, the company was strongly criticized by President Biden after it said it was planning to hire permanent replacements for the striking workers. (In solidarity with the striking workers, Reddit users clogged the company's jobs portal.)

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