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BCTGM Union, Kellogg's await vote on new tentative agreement

Posted at 7:52 AM, Dec 20, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Tuesday will mark 11 weeks since the hundreds of workers at the Kellogg's plant in Omaha went on strike.

There’s a chance that the strike could come to an end Tuesday, but it’s far from a sure thing.

Workers from all four of the Kellogg’s plants in the US have voted on whether or not to approve a second tentative agreement between the union and the company Sunday, after overwhelmingly rejecting the first offer a few weeks ago.

Local Union President Dan Osborn says he felt 50-50 going into the last vote and feels that way again about this one.

In this new offer, the company added the increased cost of living, $1.80 an hour, for transitional employees, along with a one-time $1.35 raise.

They also are offering the full-time employees a $1.10 raise on top of the three percent wage increase from the first tentative agreement.

However, Osborn says there’s been no movement on the two-tier system and no cap on the number of transitional employees.

Right now, only 3 percent of transitionals move up to full-time status each year.

“In Omaha, that means about 15 transitional will move up each year,” Osborn said. “So, if there’s 130 transitionals and your seniority of that is at the very bottom, it can still potentially take 8-9 years for those people to move up.”

Osborn says some employees are adamant about voting no, while others just want to get back to work.

Originally the company said they would not return to the bargaining table after the first tentative agreement was rejected.

Osborn says the company is trying to rule by fear by threatening to replace the striking workers with replacement workers.

They have filed National Labor Relations Board charges against the company for bargaining in bad faith.

If convicted, they legally would not be able to replace the workers.

He says the company decided to go back to the negotiation table again once President Joe Biden spoke on the issue and backed the union.

He says that national support has energized the members.

“We remain steadfast in our belief, and what we’re doing is right and just for the American middle-class,” Osborn said. “If the fight has to continue and the body speaks again and it gets voted down, we continue to fight.”

This strike has been even more difficult because of the winter months and holidays.

However, Osborn says they had a Christmas card drive, and thanks to all the donations every union member’s child 18 and under will receive a $50 gift card.

All members will receive a $150 bonus from the union’s relief fund, on top of strike wages.

We will know the result of the vote by Tuesday.