A month-long strike by Nabisco workers beat back the snack-maker’s bid to introduce a two-tier health care plan and switch them onto 12-hour shifts. Employer contributions to workers’ 401(k) plans will be doubled. One of the biggest issues in the strike was the company’s effort to do away with premium pay for weekend shifts and work after eight hours. The company wanted to put all workers on an Alternative Work Schedule consisting of 12-hour days, paid at straight time. “The big issue for me is I just can’t do the 12 hours,” said April Flowers-Lewis, who’s been at the Chicago plant for 27 years. “Because the 12 hours will be 16 hours. And then if you do that and you’re not paying us for our time-and-a-half and double time, that’s like $20,000 from everybody.” Workers are currently scheduled for eight-hour shifts Monday through Friday.
Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) working for Nabisco/Mondelez in Portland, Ore., Aurora, Colo., Richmond, Va., Chicago, Ill. and Norcross, Ga. have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new collective bargaining agreement. Approval of the contract ends the BCTGM’s strike against Nabisco which began on August 10, 2021. In commenting on the membership vote to ratify the new contract, BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton stated, "This has been a long and difficult fight for our striking members, their families and our Union. Throughout the strike, our members displayed tremendous courage, grit and determination.
Chicago - “We’re just tired!” April Flowers-Lewis told a rally in support of striking Mondelez workers*.* It’s not hard to see why the folks who make the nation’s cookies and crackers are exhausted and fed up. All through the pandemic, Flowers-Lewis, 48, and her co-workers, members of Bakery and Confectionary Workers Local 1, have been on their feet up to seven days a week, 16 hours a day baking and packing Wheat Thins, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, Velveeta, and Animal Crackers here at what was the historic Nabisco plant on this city’s southwest side. Snack consumption during the pandemic skyrocketed; the plant’s owner, multi-national corporation Mondelez, took in $5.5 billion in profits in the second quarter of 2021, according to a report in Salon.
The Nabisco strike that began when union bakers walked out of the Oreo and Ritz factory along Northeast Columbia Boulevard on Aug. 10 continues to fester—but Nabisco’s parent company, Mondelez International, has taken aggressive steps to combat the strikers’ tactics and keep its operations running. On Aug. 31, the company sent a cease-and-desist letter to the union warning strikers the company would pursue legal action if they didn’t stop interfering with plant operations. And then, on Sept. 2, Portland police kicked strikers off property beside the railroad tracks where strikers positioned themselves to block trains carrying supplies to the bakery by holding up picket signs, which union railroad workers honored.
Confronted with management’s burdensome demands for contract concessions, Nabisco workers in Portland, Oregon, instigated a strike last month that has rapidly taken on national proportions. Since then, the workforces of every Nabisco production and distribution facility in the country have followed suit, a coordinated action years in the making. The strikers have drawn on the radical energies of a recently resurgent labor movement in the United States — a momentous upswell in a key vector of working-class power.
Oregon - A strike that began at the Nabisco bakery in Northeast Portland on Aug. 10 has spread to five other facilities across the United States and gained national attention with both politicians and celebrities voicing support for the workers. Workers at the Nabisco distribution center in Norcross, Georgia, on Monday became the latest group of employees to go on strike. Approximately 1,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union are now on strike across six Nabisco bakeries and distribution centers nationwide. The strike began in Portland earlier this month when about 200 workers walked off the job after Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, proposed scheduling changes during contract negotiations that workers say would limit overtime pay and proposed providing new hires with a more costly healthcare plan.
BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton issued the following statement in support of members of BCTGM Local 42 (Atlanta, Ga.) who are on strike against Nabisco in Norcross, Ga.: “Early this morning, members of Local 42 at the Nabisco distribution center outside Atlanta joined their Brothers and Sisters in Portland, Ore., Aurora, Col., Richmond, Va. and Chicago, Ill. in striking Nabisco. Nabisco workers in all five locations are saying strong and clear: stop exporting our jobs to Mexico and end your demands for contract concessions. The BCTGM will take all appropriate action necessary in order to reach a contract settlement that treats Nabisco workers fairly and equitably.
A strike that began at a Nabisco factory in Portland, Oregon last week has now spread across the country to Nabisco facilities in Aurora, Colorado, and Richmond, Virginia, where Oreos, Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy, and other popular cookies and crackers are baked and packaged. Hundreds of striking Nabisco bakery and distribution workers who are members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union have been forced to work 12 to 16-hour shifts during the pandemic, often six or seven days a week. Meanwhile, the snacks giant has proposed turning eight-hour shifts into 12-hour shifts without overtime, increasing mandatory work on weekends, and creating a two-tier healthcare plan that costs significantly more for new hires, workers say.
“Earlier today, members of Local 358 at the Nabisco Bakery in Richmond joined their Brothers and Sisters in Portland, Ore. and Aurora, Col. in striking Nabisco. In all three locations, our courageous members are speaking with one clear, strong voice. They are telling Nabisco to put an end to the outsourcing of jobs to Mexico and get off the ridiculous demand for contract concessions at a time when the company is making record profits."