Kellogg has announced that it will permanently replace striking factory workers who rejected the latest pay offer in a long-running union dispute. Around 1,400 workers at four Kellogg’s cereal plants in the United States have been on strike since early October, claiming unfair pay and benefits.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union, which is leading the strike against Kellogg, said in a post-Tuesday that members had “overwhelmingly voted to reject” the five-year tentative agreement between Kellogg and the union.
Kellogg jobs said in a statement Tuesday: “The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to hire permanent replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers.”
Kellogg said it was “disappointed that the tentative agreement for a master contract over our four U.S. cereal plants was not ratified by employees.”
According to a company presentation, the agreement, which Kellogg said was reached on December 1, offered 3% salary increases and preserved health benefits. Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner told Reuters that interest in the permanent replacement roles “has been strong at all four plants, as expected. We expect some of the new hires to start with the company very soon.”
Kellogg said that it had scheduled no further bargaining and the company had no plans to meet with the union. Anthony Shelton, BCTGM international president, said in the union’s post: “The members have spoken. The strike continues.”
According to Bloomberg and AP, Kellogg filed a lawsuit against the BCTGM union in November, alleging that members on strike intimidated non-union employees at its cereal plant in Omaha, Nebraska, and blocked vehicles from entering and exiting the facility.