This story has been updated.
Relations between company leaders and the workers who make Tony the Tiger’s signature cereal, among other brands, frosted over Tuesday as 1,400 U.S. Kellogg employees went on strike.
Member employees of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union walked out of plants October 5 at the company’s cereal factories in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
According to BCTGM President, Anthony Shelton, Kellogg workers were asked to make concessions on health care, retirement benefits, and holiday and vacation pay after bargaining for more than a year. Shelton also claimed Kellogg’s has threatened to send cereal jobs to Mexico if workers declined. In a statement released October 12, Kellogg denied that claim, saying the company had "not proposed moving any cereal volume or jobs outside of the U.S. as part of these negotiations."
“For more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellogg workers around the country have been working long, hard hours, day in and day out,” Shelton said.
In a statement, Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner said his company was “disappointed” in the strike, noting that its employees made an average salary of $120,000 in 2020.
“Kellog provides compensation and benefits for our U.S. ready to eat cereal employees that are among the industry’s best,” he said.
The Kellogg strikers are the latest part of the BCTGM union to strike after U.S. Nabisco/Mondelez employees went on strike in August. That strike ended about a month later, September 18, after members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement.
The Kellogg plants effected by the strike make Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes cereal. It’s unclear as yet if the strike will have any significant impact on cereal supplies, the AP reported.