Union Wins Kellogg’s Strike, No Scabs In Your  Cornflakes!



Just in time for families to gather near the ol' Festivus Pole and perform Feats of Physical Prowess, the strike against cereal giant Kellogg's came to an end Tuesday as workers voted to approve a new five-year contract. 1,400 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union had been out for 11 weeks, and the company had threatened earlier this month to fire and replace the strikers, leading President Joe Biden to remind the company that would be a real dick move, even if technically legal. Happily, that did not happen, because the union insisted on airing its grievances and getting a better deal for workers.


Spokespeople for the union and for management heralded the agreement — we think all union contract news should require the verb "heralded" — as a very good thing, as you'd expect. As the New York Times explains, the company's two-tiered pay system, which provides better wages and benefits to longtime workers than to newer employees, will be significantly adjusted. Experienced employees didn't like the system because it put downward pressure on their wages and benefits overall, and drove a wedge between veteran and newer workers.

The new agreement make it easier for new workers to get into that higher-paid tier, immediately moving all existing workers with four years of experience to the "Legacy" level of pay and benefits, and ensuring that newer hires will get to that level within six years. It'll also include cost-of-living adjustments for all employees in each year of the contract, keep existing healthcare benefits as they are, and add a new dental benefit for newer employees, plus a new vision benefit for all employees.

The Washington Post notes that the union has been pretty busy this year,

including a 19-day walkout at a Kansas Frito-Lay plant that ended in a contract guaranteeing one day off per week, as well as wage increases. It also was involved in a weeks-long walkout at Nabisco that concluded in late September.

This is pretty good news for workers, and for unions, and to celebrate, we might just buy Pop Tarts again. Call us weird, but we like the cherry flavor better than the more popular strawberry. Try not to be too shocked at our defiance of convention.

[NPR / NYT / WaPo]

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