‘A good thing for new employees’: Kellogg’s employees approve tentative contract after 11-week strike

Union leaders agree to contract with company after weeks of striking
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 6:46 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For 11 weeks, hundreds of Kellogg’s workers in Memphis have manned the picket line in front of the company’s manufacturing plant on Airways Boulevard.

Tuesday, their temporary camp outside the main entrance came down after workers voted in support of the most recent tentative agreement between Kellogg’s and leaders of the BCTGM union.

“You have different opinions on a lot of things, but I think we overcame what we were striking for,” said Kevin Bradshaw, the VP of the local BCTGM Union chapter 252g.

The details of the new contract include across the board wage increases with yearly cost of living adjustments.

It also addresses the contested two-tier pay system that would have paid new hires and employees who haven’t worked with Kellogg’s for more than six years roughly $13 less per hour than those who have worked more than six years.

The contract has what’s called a graduation rate that would give workers the chance to work up to that “legacy rate” or legacy pay of a six-plus year employee.

What’s more, is every year, three percent of the new hire population will automatically be upgraded to “legacy” status, roughly 10 employees at the Memphis plant.

“That will allow people to actually make the same amount of money as a regular, full-time, legacy employee at Kellogg’s, so this is more of a guarantee. We were fighting for guarantees, and this is a guarantee,” Bradshaw said.

Kellogg’s said in a statement it’s looking forward to employees returning to work.

Workers are to return Monday, December 27.

The Memphis plant produces 85% of the Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies around the world, and Bradshaw said he’s looking forward to producing those products.

“No one can make cereal like we can make cereal,” Bradshaw said. “Union workers are dedicated, loyal and we’re compassionate about what we do because we care about what we do.”

There may be some mixed emotions when workers re-enter the factory, but Bradshaw thinks its something they will overcome because at the end of the day, they’re back at work with more benefits and pay than they had when they went on strike.

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