Kellogg Striking Employees Say ‘We’re Not Budging’
It has been two weeks since 325 union works at Kellogg’s in Battle Creek have gone on strike. They are part of the approximately 1,400 union Kellogg workers from the states of Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Nebraska that have gone on strike.
We are being told that one of the biggest concerns for these employees is a disagreement over a two-tier pay system. Kellogg’s puts some of its employees into two different groups. Those groups are called “legacy” and “transitional” workers. We are informed that there is a wage difference of approximately $10 an hour.
According to reporting by MLive a Kellogg health and safety technician Jim Akins stated:
“Kellogg’s doesn’t understand what they’ve created here…They’ve created a battle-hardened workforce. You’ve got folks that are standing side by side with each other. Right now, we’re getting to know each other.”
According to Lisa Gregory, from the International Representative for the Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) these “transitional” workers “lose out on a pension, additional paid holidays and health care coverage”.
According to the report a Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner told MLive:
“the company is proposing a new wage progression for employees and removing the two-tiered hiring structure. Over a proposed 6-year wage progression, the transitional employees would achieve a wage rate of about $35 per hour.”
Will this be enough we will see? Until then Kellogg health and safety technician Jim Akins said:
“We’re not budging”
Let us hope these employees who are striking and Kellogg’s can come to an agreement they both can live with. In any negotiation, there will always be a give and take and usually, neither side is completely happy with what they get. In fact, they say a good settlement is when both sides are not happy with it. I hope that in this case, both sides will be happy with their settlement.
Let us hope that “not budging” will not get in the way of a successful agreement between both parties.
If the union strikers have a position of “not budging” and Kellogg has a position of “not budging” it could be a long cold winter. Let us hope that they both will budge and an agreement can be made to get back to work. I am sure many of the strikers want to get back to work and get paid.
As Mr. Atkins said, “None of us want to be on strike”.