Kensington, MD – More than BCTGM 1,300 members at four Kellogg cereal plants voted to ratify a new five-year Master Contract to replace the one set to expire on October 3, 2015. The locations of the plants included under the new Agreement are Lancaster, Pa. (374G), Battle Creek, Mich. (Local 3G), Omaha, Neb. (50G), and Memphis, Tenn. (252G).
The five-year deal includes a five-year moratorium on plant closings, solid wage and pension increases and maintenance of health care benefits. Kellogg approached the Union to conduct the negotiations early in hopes of arriving at an amicable agreement well before the contract expiration. Members of the locals authorized their leadership to engage Kellogg in these early negotiations.
BCTGM International Vice President Midwest Region Jethro Head chaired the Union negotiating team together with International Secretary-Treasurer Steven Bertelli, and was assisted by representatives of each of the local unions. “This was as fine a team effort as I’ve been involved with in any negotiations. These negotiations were not easy and the local union leaders worked diligently to address the issues. They made difficult and important decisions on behalf of their respective members. They should be proud of their accomplishments and the solidarity that they showed during the process,” Vice President Head states.
Head adds, “The five-year moratorium on plant closings provides our members with a sense of security and hope for the future. Additionally, the moratorium offers the strong likelihood of repatriation of production from non-union facilities in North America to BCTGM-represented factories.”
“These employees and their families will continue to enjoy a premier wage and benefit package and can face their future employment prospects with renewed confidence in both their active employment and into their retirement years,” explains Secretary-Treasurer Bertelli. “Our members have been dedicated to their work for Kellogg and that dedication will continue to be rewarded under this new Agreement as they produce the quality Kellogg cereal brands that are recognized around the world,” reflects Bertelli.
This new five-year Agreement comes on the heels of a nearly 10-month lockout of the Memphis workforce which ended with an injunction by a Federal Judge one year to the day that the membership of the local unions voted to ratify this new Contract.
BCTGM International President David Durkee believes that the conclusion of this new Agreement “could lead to a revitalized, constructive and mutually beneficial working partnership between Kellogg, its union workforce and the BCTGM; a relationship that can open the door for new BCTGM jobs at Kellogg and the creation of a dynamic synergy for the company in today’s marketplace.”
“The greatest asset any employer has is a dedicated and skilled workforce. Our members, represented by these four BCTGM local unions, are the hard working men and women who daily build these brands from the bottom up. Their exemplary commitment to their work results in the production of Kellogg’s iconic products that are enjoyed in millions of homes,” explains President Durkee.
“I highly commend the BCTGM leadership team that negotiated this Agreement and the membership of our Ready to Eat Cereal locals and Kellogg for arriving at this quality five-year Agreement,” Durkee concludes.