The workers behind Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, and Frosted Flakes are on strike at all of Kellogg’s U.S. cereal plants to demand decent pay, hours, and retirement benefits.
“We feed all these families, but I can’t feed mine,” Victoria, a Kellogg’s employee and member of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union, told More Perfect Union.
Kellogg’s workers are forced into 16-hour overtime shifts and 7-day work weeks. Some workers have reported working up to 120 days straight.
“You can’t even now go in there and tell them that your aunt passed away and you need a day off. They’ll tell you to call in or use a vacation day,” 17-year Kellogg’s employee Trevor Bidelman said.
Kellogg’s CEO Steve Cahillane made more than $11.6 million in 2020, but now Kellogg’s is cutting 212 jobs at its Battle Creek plant over the next two years. Amid record profits, Kellogg’s is trying to slash benefits and take away cost of living raises, vacations, and holiday pay.
In 2015, Kellogg’s created a tier of “transitional” workers who do the same jobs but get paid less. They were supposed to eventually become “legacy employees” with full benefits. Now, Kellogg’s is trying to remove the limit it originally put on the number of transitional workers it can hire, threatening the livelihoods of future Kellogg’s employees.
But workers at Kellogg’s are fighting back and demanding to be treated with dignity. “We’ve been asked about how long we’re willing to fight,” Trevor Bidelman said. “And at the end of the day, it will be one day longer than they are.”