CHICAGO – Mondelez International, Inc. and the bargaining committee of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) have reached a tentative agreement on new contracts that would end strikes at five Nabisco facilities, Chicago-based Mondelez said on Sept. 15. Union workers at bakeries in Portland, Ore., Richmond, Va., and Chicago along with union workers at sales distribution facilities in Addison, Ill., and Norcross, Ga., will vote on ratifying the new contracts in the coming days.
The agreement was reached late in the night on Sept. 14, said Anthony Shelton, president of the BCTGM.
“I want to thank and commend all of the members of the bargaining committee for their many, many hours of extremely hard work to reach this tentative agreement,” he said. “As always in our union, the members will have the final say on the contract.”
Union workers in Portland were the first to go on strike on Aug. 10.
Mondelez International and the union disagreed over terms of new contracts, including alternative work schedules and revised overtime rules. Mondelez wanted to move to alternative work schedules at bakeries on select high-demand lines. The traditional schedule of Monday through Friday does not work on high-demand lines, leading to unpredictable needs for overtime and weekend runs, according to Mondelez. At sales distribution facilities, Mondelez wanted alternative work schedules with up to five employees in each branch working a Tuesday-Saturday work schedule. Under revised overtime rules, Mondelez would pay premiums to employees on the sixth and seventh day who work their scheduled hours during the week.
The BCTGM also claimed Mondelez was moving jobs to Mexico. Mondelez International closed biscuit baking plants in Atlanta and Fair Lawn, NJ, this year, but no jobs moved to Mexico because of the closings, according to the company. The US Department of Labor ruled in favor of Mondelez in petitions brought against the company by union officials seeking trade adjustment assistance (TAA) for workers in Atlanta and Fair Lawn, in accordance with Section 223 of the Trade Act of 1974. The Department of Labor denied the petitions, saying the requirements for Section 223 were not met.