BATTLE CREEK, MICH.— A tentative agreement toward a new five-year labor contract covering 1,400 employees has been reached between Kellogg Co. and The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), according to Kellogg.
Members of the BCTGM went on strike in early October at four Kellogg locations that make ready-to-eat cereal — Battle Creek; Omaha, Neb.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Memphis, Tenn.
The company and the union were at odds over issues such as a two-tiered workforce (between longstanding “legacy” workers and newer “transitional workers), overtime and health care.
The agreement covers workers at the four striking plants. Citing union statements, Kellogg said the agreement will be voted on by workers Dec. 5. The company said it will learn the results soon afterward.
“Among other things, the tentative agreement includes an accelerated, defined path to legacy wages and benefits for transitional employees, and wage increases and enhanced benefits for all,” Kellogg said.
According to materials posted by Kellogg, the agreement will result in 3% wage increases on ratification and cost of living adjustments afterward (capped at $3 per hour) with “substantial increases for transitional employees, depending on years of service.”
Also upon ratification, all employees with at least four years of service will qualify to legacy wages and benefits. Each year of the contract, remaining transitional employees will “graduate” to legacy status as the rate of 3% of the plant’s headcount. Previous caps on graduation rates have been eliminated.
The agreement includes numerous health care, pension and vacation/time off provisions as well.
The agreement was reached after a second set of negotiations between the company and the union. Earlier negotiations failed to result in an agreement.
“We thank the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for their assistance in these negotiations,” Kellogg said.
Anthony Shelton, president of the BCTGM, said, “Late last night, BCTGM negotiators reached a tentative agreement with Kellogg’s on a new contract. In the coming days, the local union officers on the bargaining committee will present the tentative agreement to their respective memberships who will then vote on the agreement on Sunday, Dec. 5 at destinations determined by each local union.
“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. As always in our union, the members will have the final say on the contract.”