Kellogg's to resume contract negotiations with striking workers

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The Kellogg Co. is resuming contract negotiations Tuesday with more than 1,400 workers from its cereal plant picket lines. 

Kellogg's and leaders of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) agreed to resume talks on Nov. 2 and Nov 3., the company said in a statement. However, the cereal maker gave few details about the talks aside from saying that the company was looking forward to "getting back to the table."  

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Kellogg's wrote a letter to the union last week, urging it to head back to the bargaining table after its members went on strike in early October.

The more than 1,400 union members were fed up after being at an impasse at the bargaining table for more than a year. 

Wyatt Elmore, a 14-year Kellogg employee raises his fist as honking cars pass by while union workers from Kellogg’s picket outside the cereal maker’s headquarters as they remain on strike in Battle Creek, Michigan, Oct. 21, 2021. ( REUTERS/Emily Elconin / Reuters Photos)

"We have a responsibility to these employees — which is to engage in good faith bargaining toward a replacement agreement that gets them back to work," the company said in a statement last week.

The cereal maker hinted that it might be willing to discuss proposals that would address its current two-tiered system that gives fewer benefits and less pay to newer workers, which has been a sticking point for the union. 

Kellogg’s didn’t elaborate in its statement, but noted that it would consider "proposals that would preserve a pathway for transitionals to legacy wages and benefits." 

First shift worker Travis Huffman joins other BCTGM Local 3G union members in a strike against Kellogg Co. at the Kellogg’s plant on Porter Street in Battle Creek, Michigan, Oct. 5, 2021. (Alyssa Keown/Battle Creek Enquirer/USA Today Network via REUTERS    / Reuters Photos)

The strike covers plants in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, where products such as Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Fruit Loops, Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes are produced. 


The move threatened the production of its iconic breakfast products, forcing Kellogg's to continue "operations with other resources" to try and mitigate any supply disruptions.  

Union workers from Kellogg’s picket outside the cereal maker’s headquarters as they remain on strike in Battle Creek, Michigan, Oct. 21, 2021.  ( REUTERS/Emily Elconin / Reuters Photos)

The strike stems from an assortment of pay and benefits issues such as the holiday and vacation pay, loss of premium health care and reduced retirement benefits. 

"Kellogg’s response to these loyal, hardworking employees has been to demand these workers give up quality health care, retirement benefits, and holiday and vacation pay," Anthony Shelton, president of BCTGM, previously said. 


However, a Kellogg Co. spokesperson argued that its proposals "have been grossly misrepresented by the Union in statements to their membership and to media" and that it wants "employees to have all the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their families."

Kellogg's has said that its "number one priority is to get back to the negotiations table and reach a contract."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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