Kellogg workers still on strike a month later

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Nearly 300 Kellogg workers in Memphis continue to march on the picket line on Sunday as negotiations between the company and the union drag on.

It was October 5 when all 274 workers from Memphis Kellogg left work to march on the picket line.

Over the past month, those workers and workers at three other US factories began to strike when the union representing the workers and the company failed to reach a contractual agreement.

Union President Rob Eafen said there had been no meeting of the spirits.

“It’s a very big problem for work, there is a general assault on the middle class and we are no longer defending it,” he said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that people are standing behind us.”

Those standing with the support include Lee Saunders, president of a union based in our nation’s capital.

“The workers are coming together and making their voices heard, saying enough is enough… and we are fighting back and making our voices heard, he said.

Cleophus Smith knows firsthand what these workers are going through. He was part of the sanitation strike that would later bring Martin Luther King Jr to Memphis.

He joined with those who are now taking a stand, saying this is a picket line they don’t have to walk alone.

“If we did it in 1968, we can do it again today,” he said.

Mr. Smith said that while the problems can be complex, the solution is simple.

“We have to be like the stamp and the envelope. We have to stick together. The stamp cannot go anywhere without the envelope, and the envelope cannot go anywhere without the stamp. We have to stick together, ”he said.

Workers say there is a cloud of uncertainty over when to return to work, as this is where they will stay until the company is able to strike a better deal.

WREG reached out to Kellogg’s who told us on Friday that the union and the company were back at the bargaining table. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached.

In a statement, the company added the following:

On November 3, we presented the union with one last convincing final best offer. We no longer offer a permanent two-tier structure. We proposed to continue the current path of legacy salaries and benefits, but with significant salary increases for current and future transition employees. We proposed to maintain the cost of living adjustment for Heritage employees and to improve benefits for all employees.

We asked the union to allow our employees to vote on the offer. The union immediately rejected the offer and told us they would not submit it to the employees for a vote.

We remain ready and willing to consider any realistic offer from the union and look forward to reaching an agreement quickly so that our employees can get back to work and get their lives back on track. In the meantime, we have a responsibility to our company, our customers and our consumers to keep our factories running despite the strike. We continue to operate in the four factories with additional resources.


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