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Kellogg’s workers win big raises after strikes

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Several hundred workers at a Kellogg’s plant that makes Cheez-Its won a new contract that delivers more than 15% wage increases over three years after 1,400 workers at the company’s cereal plants went on strike for nearly three months last fall.

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The wage and benefits improvements that 570 workers at the Kellogg’s plant in Kansas City, Kansas, secured this week are the largest that have been seen in that location by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, it said Wednesday.

U.S. companies are struggling to fill the more than 11 million job openings across the country that represent nearly two openings for everyone unemployed, and workers are demanding more after keeping plants operating throughout the pandemic.

Job openings hovered at a near-record high for the second consecutive month in February, the Labor Department reported this week.

“This contract is further evidence of the power of a union voice and collective bargaining,” said the union’s president Stuart Appelbaum.

Officials at Kellogg’s, which is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, said they treat each negotiation differently based on the needs of the businesses and the local market.

“We’re glad to have negotiated a contract that recognizes the important work of our employees in Kansas City and helps ensure the long-term viability of the bakery and our business,” spokeswoman Kris Bahner said.

Besides the strike at Kellogg’s plants in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Tennessee last fall, workers also walked out last year at a Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas, and at five Nabisco plants nationwide. And meatpacking workers have been winning significant raises when their contracts come up at plants across the country.

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Unions in other industries, including one that represents more than 10,000 John Deere workers, also went on strike last year. The Deere workers received 10% raises and improved benefits after going on strike for month.

Kellogg’s workers win big raises after spate of strikes  The Associated Press – en Español

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