The continued inaction by the Kellogg Company on the lockout of more than 220 workers at its Memphis, Tenn. cereal plant has drawn the attention of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). The Congressional Progressive Caucus consists of 75 members of the U.S. House of Representatives from around the country, and is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus.
In a letter on behalf of the CPC to Kellogg Company CEO John Bryant, the Co-Chairs of the CPC—U.S. Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D- Arizona) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) —questioned the company’s plan to create a new “workforce of the future” and urged the company to “reconsider its approach” and resolve the dispute.
The letter is critical of Kellogg’s plan to introduce a part-time, casual workforce in which workers at the Memphis facility eventually earn at least $12,500 less per year (not including overtime) and receive far fewer benefits and than current workers, which “will adversely impact the community’s middle class.”
“Moving to a lower-wage workforce at Kellogg’s Memphis facility will cost the local economy millions of dollars in revenue and undermine the community’s tax base. The result will be fewer resources for public education and the delivery of important social services,” wrote the CPC leaders.
The letter adds that Congressional offices have received communications from constituents who are concerned about the company’s tactics in Memphis and, “their desire to ensure this model does not take root or spread to their communities.”
“We respectively urge Kellogg to reconsider its approach to resolving this dispute and reach a mutually agreeable solution. The current approach will not result in a positive ongoing relationship between the parties. We believe there are more amicable ways to reconcile the difference between the parties than denying dedicated workers access to their work site. Kellogg has provided good, stable, middle class jobs for decades. It can and should continue to do so,” concludes Ellison and Grijalva.