Since the failed contract agreement back in October, roughly 1,400 workers from Kellogg’s cereal plants have remained on strike. In demand of better pay and health care benefits workers, walked off the job at the companies four plants in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, PA; Memphis, Tennesee, and Omaha, Nebraska.
On December 7 the majority of Kellogg workers voted against the latest proposed five-year contract. This proposed contract would’ve included a 3% raise, provided the cost of living in future contracts, and protected the worker’s current health benefit. Kellogg workers shared that they were essential in the running of the plants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This strike was also intended to show the workers’ disagreement towards the companies recently proposed two-tier system. This system will give transitional employees less pay and benefits while removing the amount of low-tiered employees. This limitation will directly impact the Union, taking away a majority of its power. Frequently working more than 80 hours a week “sometimes 100 to 130 days in a row” the workers on strike are not budging on their demands.
Kellogg has stated that they won’t be doing any more negotiating with the Union or its strikers. They are currently working to permanently replace the 1,400 strikers.
Political figures like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have publicly sided with the Union while many customers have begun boycotting Kellogg’s product. As someone interested in the advertising field, I’m curious to see the future effect of this strike on the Kellogg brand. Big named brands can afford to hire new workers but not a tarnished brand name. In the era of cancel culture and heightened social awareness, major brands must be careful. If enough people boycott Kellogg’s products the companies sales and brand capital will plummet. If this does happen I wonder if Kellogg will consider revisiting the strikers’ demands. As consumers, we must show our support for those not being paid what they deserve.