A leaked email further complicates new Kellogg’s union agreement
The message leaked to the press on Friday, Dec. 17 and asserts there is no gain to workers at the second asking. They voted on the agreement on Dec. 19.
A Kellogg’s plant manager wrote in a leaked email that the recently announced tentative agreement with the union gives “no gain overall” to workers.
“In short, [the] overall bucket of money (cost) stays the same. Just shifts money from one bucket to another,” Gregory Jackson, a Battle Creek plant manager, said in an email that was obtained by Michigan Advance on Friday.
“No gain overall for them [Kellogg’s workers] with three more weeks of strike and no income. No ratification bonus,” Jackson wrote.
SCOOP: A Kellogg’s executive sent this email to other members of Kellogg’s management, bragging about the new tentative deal to end the 10-week strike.
“In short… no overall gain for [workers] with 3 more weeks of strike and no income. No ratification bonus.” pic.twitter.com/kJuxUcOMDa
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) December 18, 2021
In a statement to Newsweek, a Kellogg’s spokesperson defended the new deal and said that Jackson’s email was taken out of context.
“The tentative agreement is more than fair and should be ratified,” the spokesperson said.
Jackson sent the email to close staff, including supervisors below him, but some workers from the union — the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)— also received it.
Donivan Williams, a member of the BCTGM Local 3G Executive Board, told Newsweek that Jackson’s words are not surprising.
“It’s appalling. But I’m not surprised at all,” Williams said, adding that it appeared Jackson was “comforting his staff with our union workers’ pain.”
“The strike vote went over so easily because of the way that people have been treated, and people are just being tired of being treated in that way,” he continued.
Kellogg’s workers have been striking across four plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee since Tuesday, Oct. 5. They’re demanding an end to the company’s two-tiered wage system in which the newer workers receive less pay and fewer benefits than experienced workers.
It is wrong to fire workers for demanding better treatment and wages. Our Administration is concerned about Kellogg’s plans to permanently replace their workers who are currently on strike. Workers in America have the right to demand better.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) December 12, 2021
Last week, the company reached a tentative agreement with the 1,400 striking workers. They voted on the agreement on Sunday, Dec. 19, and are still awaiting the results.
On Friday, Dec. 17, Senator Bernie Sanders joined Kellogg’s union employees on the picket line in Battle Creek, Michigan.
“You’re sending a message not just to Kellogg’s, but to every corporate CEO in this country. You’re saying that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, you’ve got to give workers a fair shake,” Sanders told the crowd of about 500 people.
In addition to receiving support from Sanders, President Joe Biden, and a group of Reddit users, the striking Kellogg’s employees are also seeing workers in other countries stand with them in solidarity.
“We are being followed by a lot of people, and I don’t know what will happen if we win or if we lose, but it is very powerful to see Palestinian workers in Israel holding up a banner in support of our strike,” one worker told WSWS.
Solidarity with MAAN members fighting for a fair contract at Ta'aman Foods! Join us for a webinar on Zoom – Monday 20.12, at 6.30 pm Jerusalem time (5.30 pm CET, 4.30 pm UK, 11.30 am EST). https://t.co/j6Yjatp2Sl
Featuring members of the Ta’aman Workers Committee and MAAN leaders pic.twitter.com/Sf0RYbcbHd
— LabourStart (@labourstart) December 17, 2021