The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint Thursday against the Kellogg Co., charging the cereal maker with violating federal labor law in its more than five-month lockout of 22 workers at its Memphis, Tenn., plant.CBS 5 - KPHO
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) President David Durkee said:
For more than 155 days and at a tremendous personal and financial cost, these courageous workers have remained steadfast in their belief in the rule of law. Today, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel struck the first loud blow for justice.
The NLRB complaint charges Kellogg with acting unlawfully when it made unlawful demands by insisting on the union’s agreement to change terms of an existing contract while it was still in effect and locking out its employees to achieve that result.
Durkee said the NLRB’s action is the “first step in validating all that the BCTGM and our locked-out members have consistently said since the beginning of this tragic lockout.”
The BCTGM Local 252G members who make Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops® and other breakfast favorites were locked out as part of the drive by the company to replace steady, middle-class, full-time jobs with new-hire employees who would make significantly lower wages and substandard benefits and who would be subject to scheduling and other work rules far less worker-friendly than those currently in effect. Said Durkee:
For more than five months, the locked-out workers in Memphis have been victimized by a $14 billion multinational corporation so consumed by greed that it was willing to break U.S. law in order to get what it wanted from its workers.
The workers have received support from national politicians, religious leaders, civil rights organizations and international labor groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the NFL Players Association, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations, the National Action Network and others.