OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After standing on street corners day after day, on Thursday, striking workers at the Kellogg's plant in Omaha got a boost from one of the top labor leaders in the country.
Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO, who represents over 12 million union workers across the US, came to Omaha in solidarity with Kellogg's workers.
“This is a national reckoning,” said Schuler.
The workers are protesting a two-tier employee system in which experienced staff receive good pay and benefits, while less experienced, new employees get significantly less compensation with no chance to move up.
“They're standing there to protect the middle class in this country as the country has been hollowed out. As companies are off-shoring and moving jobs overseas and trying to institute two-tier systems, so the next generation is less better off,” said Shuler.
Shuler wasn’t the only leader at the Kellogg's plant.
State senators Tony Vargas, Machaela Cavanaugh and Mike McDonnell, a union leader himself, picketed with the strikers.
“They worked hard during the pandemic, they fed this city, they fed the state of Nebraska and they fed this country. Now all they want to do is go back to work, do their job and be treated fairly,” said McDonnell, who’s the current President of the Omaha Federation of Labor.
There was visible optimism on the street; happy faces, despite receiving no pay for over three weeks. It comes as negotiations are set to start again next week.
Union leaders think they’re winning.
“I am optimistic that they’re going to win and they have to win because the entire country is watching,” said Shuler. “Together we are going to prevail.”
Representatives from other unions across the metro helped out Kellogg’s workers monetarily as well. They gave a total of $13,000 to the Kellogg’s Strike Fund, helping the workers who currently are not getting paid.