December 1, 2021

Kellogg Co. Files Lawsuit Against Its Local Omaha Union Over Striking Workers Blocking Entrances

The Kellogg Co. has filed a lawsuit in opposition to its native union in Omaha, claiming that the employees on strike are blocking entrances to its cereal plant and accuses them of intimidating substitute staff.

The corporate operates out of Battle Creek, Michigan, and has requested a choose to order the Omaha chapter of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Worldwide Union to cease interfering with its operating enterprise whereas staff be a part of collectively exterior the plant.

Workers in Omaha and staff at Kellogg’s three different cereal vegetation within the U.S. have been on strike since Oct. 5, the Related Press reported.

“We respect the right of employees to lawfully communicate their position in this matter. We sought a temporary restraining order to help ensure the safety of all individuals in the vicinity of the plant, including the picketers themselves,” firm spokeswoman Kris Bahner stated Thursday.

Kellogg’s lawsuit was filed after a automobile struck and killed a United Auto Workers member as he was strolling to hitch hanging staff exterior a John Deere distribution plant situated in northwest Illinois. An Iowa choose issued a brief restraining order in opposition to staff in Davenport that restricted their demonstrations right down to 4 picketers at a time.

Kellogg claims union members have been bodily blocking the doorway to the plant, which causes issues for semi-trucks and buses making an attempt to enter and depart.

It additionally claims in its lawsuit that staff picketing exterior the plant have additionally threatened the lives of workers working on the plant, together with “threatening that an individual’s wife and young children will be assaulted (including sexually) while he is away from home working with Kellogg.”

There have been contract talks earlier this month, however they didn’t type an settlement. Earlier this week, the corporate began its PR marketing campaign to attempt to get staff hooked on its newest provide as a result of the union declined to place the deal as much as a vote. Nonetheless, on Thursday, Kellog stated that its provide to the union had expired, with no further talks on the schedule.

Ken Hurley, the top of labor relations at Kellogg’s, stated in a video the corporate posted on its website that it has tried to debate the union’s principal issues, which is about its two-tiered pay system, wages, and advantages in its provide.

“We have made every attempt to build a bridge toward a new agreement, but those efforts are met with rejections and more unrealistic demands,” Hurley stated within the video. “We urge the union to reconsider its approach and agree to engage in real bargaining for a contract to get our employees back to work and back to their lives.”

Union officers advised staff that it didn’t suggest the provide as a result of it was filled with concessions.

The Kellogg’s strike consists of about 1,400 staff throughout 4 vegetation: Battle Creek; Omaha; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, that make all of Kellogg’s manufacturers of cereal, together with Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks.

The corporate has stated that it has restarted manufacturing at all the vegetation with salaried workers and in addition exterior staff. The corporate can be within the technique of hiring new workers. CEO Steven Cahillane advised buyers earlier this month that after the corporate reported a $307 million quarterly revenue that it stockpiled cereal beforehand to assist get via the strike.

Workers hope the strike will assist them acquire a greater provide due to the continued employee shortages.

Greater than 10,000 Deere staff remained on strike after staff there rejected two totally different affords from the tractor maker.

Workers are additionally much less keen to compromise since they labored lengthy hours amid the coronavirus pandemic to satisfy the demand over the previous 18 months.