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Common Dreams - August 20, 2021

"They don't care about frontline workers. They only care about the almighty dollar. We're tired of getting stepped on and treated like trash. We've had enough."
—Rusty Lewis, Nabisco worker

Employees at Nabisco's flagship plant in Chicago walked off the job Thursday, joining workers at three of the leading snack maker's other U.S. plants who are demanding better working conditions, an end to foreign outsourcing, and the withdrawal of a company plan that would scrap the company's current guaranteed overtime pay system.

The strike began August 10 when around 200 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers' (BCTGM) International Union Local 364 walked out of a Nabisco factory in Portland, Oregon that makes Oreo and Chips Ahoy! cookies, as well as Ritz, Premium saltines, and other crackers.

Workers at Nabisco plants in Aurora, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia followed suit, saying they planned to strike until Nabisco's parent company, multinational confectionery corporation Mondelez International, agrees to negotiate a new contract. The most recent agreement expired in May.

With U.S. snack consumption rising during the pandemic, Mondelez's 2020 revenue increased to $26.6 billion, according to Chicago Business Journal, with profits of $3.6 billion and a 6% annual increase in share price. Dirk Van de Put, Mondelez's new CEO, could earn more than $17 million in compensation, plus a $38 million one-time windfall, this year.

Meanwhile, Nabisco workers have been forced to work 12 to 16 hour shifts, six to seven days a week, during the pandemic, while the company seeks to eliminate overtime pay by altering employee schedules so that weekend shifts become part of the 40-hour work week. Workers are also rejecting a Mondelez proposal to create different employee health plans under which new hires would pay more, including deductibles—which do not exist under the current system. ...
Read full report at Common Dreams