Some Striking Kellogg's Workers Returning to Work in Omaha
By Jackie Ourada , Morning Edition Host & Reporter Nebraska Public Media
Oct. 18, 2021, 1:25 p.m. ·
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Some striking Kellogg's employees will cross the picket line Tuesday morning to return to work at the Omaha factory.
Around 480 employees have been on strike since October 5, when employees and the company failed to reach new contract agreements. It's unclear how many Kellogg's employees will return to work Tuesday. Across several other states and Nebraska, 1,400 workers altogether are striking.
Dan Osborn, the president of Local 50G Union representing the Kellogg's workers in Omaha, said a company from out of state is currently replacing some workers.
Employees with the local building and construction union will return to the job Tuesday to honor their contracts with the cereal company.
"If they don't start honoring those contracts, they're going to get forced out of the building permanently and, more than likely, never going to be let back in," Osborn said. "So, we think it's in everyone's best interest to get those guys back to work."
Workers are calling on the company to improve wages and implement better employee benefits and protections. In a statement, the company defended its policies.
"We are ready, willing and able to meet and have repeatedly communicated that to the union," said Kris Bahner, a Kellogg spokesperson. "In the meantime, we are implementing contingency plans to mitigate supply disruptions, including using salaried employees and third-party resources to produce food."
The strike has now lasted 14 days now. Osborn said employees are staying encouraged by the support from the community and organizations.
"You know, we're not alone," Osborn said. "Being alone is probably one of the worst things in this world, and knowing we're not alone has kept the morale high."
Last week, 17 state senators wrote a letter to Kellogg's in solidarity with the employees. They asked the company to negotiate with the unions in good faith and provide benefits and compensation 'that match the hard work and dedication they have shown to the Kellogg’s Company.'
Osborn said the union hasn't heard from Kellogg's on updated contract negotiations.
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