(BATTLE CREEK, Michigan) – Negotiations between Kellogg Co. and the union, which represents approximately 1,400 grain mill workers who have been on strike for more than six weeks, resume Monday.
The workers who have been on strike since October 5 are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). Talks between union leaders and Kellogg’s broke down in early November after the two sides failed to reach an agreement and further negotiations were put on hold for weeks prior to Monday’s meeting.
The ongoing strike affects Kellogg’s plants in four states and comes amid a barrage of work stoppages hitting the private sector in the U.S. Jobs have been linked to new hiring activism in recent weeks.
“We look forward to coming back to the table and are determined to negotiate in good faith,” Kellogg’s said in an update on Friday. “We continue to hope that we can reach an agreement soon so that our employees can get back to work and their lives.”
The union turned down a proposal from Kellogg’s on November 4th, saying in a statement that “the company’s last, best and final offer does not achieve what our members ask for; a predictable path to permanent, performance-oriented employment for all employees without concessions. “
“The company came to the table and insisted that an agreement will only be reached if the union adopts the company’s proposal exactly as it was written,” said the union’s statement. “The company’s proposal was filled with terms and conditions that were acceptable to Kellogg’s. These general terms and conditions are not acceptable to our members. “
After the union rejected the proposal, Kellogg said it would continue operations at the four plants where workers with hourly, salary and “third party funds that produce food” are on strike.
“The bottom line is that our proposals respond to what the union has told us as its main concern,” said Ken Hurley, director of industrial relations at Kellogg, in a statement. “The union doesn’t seem interested in revising its proposals or looking for creative solutions to problems.”
The union and Kellogg’s did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for further comments.
The striking workers in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee are helping produce Kellogg grains such as rice krispies, raisin bran, fruit loops, corn flakes and frosted flakes, according to the union.
A separate strike at farm equipment giant John Deere only ended last week after fighting for over a month. The new agreement gave John Deere employees, among other things, a signing bonus of $ 8,500 and a 20 percent wage increase during the contract period.
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