Included among the 18 statements considered and approved by the MTD Executive Board during its meeting February 13-14 in Houston was one submitted by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) in support of its members locked out by Kellogg’s in Memphis.
BCTGM Secretary-Treasurer and MTD Executive Board Member Steve Bertelli presented the statement explaining that more than 220 workers have been denied access to their jobs since October.
Bertelli explained that new management at the cereal and food company is trying to implement “efficiency and effectiveness programs” at its facilities in the United States, England and Australia, including ideas rejected during contract negotiations.
“Specifically, what Kellogg’s is proposing is something they have coined as ‘The New Workforce of the Future,’” according to the statement entitled End Kellogg’s Memphis Lockout. “This new workforce would replace every single existing worker via attrition and they would make $6 LESS per hour, $12,500 LESS per year before overtime, and receive far inferior benefits. These conditions violate the master contract between the union and the company.”
Bertelli told the board that the BCTGM has been using both regular media and social media to build support for its case. He said the reaction in Memphis has been overwhelmingly in favor of the locked-out union members.
“This fight is very important,” Bertelli added. “It has the potential to transform the food industry.”
In calling for the vote on the statement, MTD President Michael Sacco told Bertelli that the Bakery Workers “can depend on us for support whenever and wherever needed.”