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Kellogg's strike reaches six weeks; nearly 500 workers in Omaha remain on the picket lines

Posted at 3:48 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 16:48:59-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Tuesday marks six weeks since the nearly 500 employees at the Kellogg's plant in Omaha went on strike, where they have been on the picket lines around the clock ever since.

With the holidays creeping up a deal is still out of reach and employees aren't sure when they'll be back to work.

At Midnight on October 5, workers went on strike after the company and the union failed to reach a new deal once the previous contract had expired.

A month went by with no progress. Until November 2, when the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union met with the company for two days in an attempt to reach a new agreement.

The Kellogg Company made its "last best final offer" at the meetings. However, that offer was declined as the BCTGM union says nothing really changed.

Employees are still looking for the company to eliminate the two-tier pay and benefits system, along with making it easier for employees to reach 'legacy' status, so that all employees can be paid equally.

The company says its final offer raised the wages and benefits for all employees and that they would work to eliminate that two-tier system.

However, the union says they couldn't provide a fully benefited way to achieve this.

On November 5, the company urged employees to vote separately from the union. That was also declined.

On November 11, the company requested a restraining order against the workers on strike. A temporary restraining order was placed limiting what the union members could do and where they could setup, although there have been no citations issued by law enforcement.

"Our saying is one day longer, one day stronger,” Kellogg’s employee on strike, Harold Miller said. “Every day we keep getting more and more morale going around, and people are willing to help us get through this."

The workers on strike continue to say how grateful they are for the community and other unions that have shown their support and have provided the workers with food and ways to stay warm.

"The community has been really supportive. All of the local unions have been coming out and helping us fight the battle that we've been fighting,” Miller said. “I mean, it's been great."

Miller says he feels bad for some of the newer employees who may be struggling during the strike without pay. However, he says he had started saving his pay months in advance in case this happened.