Kellogg's has begun to restart production at four U.S. cereal plants, where output came to a screeching halt Tuesday as more than a thousand employees went on a strike over stalled contract negations.
In an emailed response, a Kellogg spokesperson told Bloomberg that plants are in "various stages of preparing for startup." There was no mention of timelines when full production would resume. "We are implementing contingency plans to mitigate supply disruptions, including using salaried employees and third-party resources to produce food," the spokesperson added.
On Tuesday, around 1,400 employees across food plants in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, went on strike amid failed discussions over workers' payment and benefits contract.
"Kellogg's response to these loyal, hardworking employees has been to demand these workers give up quality health care, retirement benefits, and holiday and vacation pay," Anthony Shelton, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), told Fox News.
BCTGM covers the 1,400 members striking across the country, where many of their factories produce Rasin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, and Frosted Flakes cereals.
Shelton said Kellogg's "continues to threaten to send additional jobs to Mexico if workers do not accept outrageous proposals that take away protections that workers have had for decades."
This week's strike is the first time U.S. cereal workers walked off the job since 1972.
Many workers are tired of 12-hour shifts and mandatory overtime to meet the increasing demand caused by the virus pandemic.
"We're drawing a line in the sand," Rob Long, a production mechanic who has worked at Kellogg's Omaha plant for more than a decade, told Bloomberg.
The Kellogg's strike shows an increasing shift toward employee power in a labor market plagued by shortages and rising wages could rattle markets.