UPDATE: Click here for the latest. (03/27/14)
FACT: Kellogg is operating in an increasingly tough ready-to-eat-cereal category, which has led to excess capacity and an unsustainable cost structure at Kellogg’s U.S. cereal plants, including in Memphis.
FACT: Kellogg has offered a solution that will best position the Memphis plant for future sustainability, while protecting the exceptional salary and benefits current employees receive.
FACT: Under this proposed contract, current employees will continue to enjoy their good wages and benefits, which amount to an annual average salary with overtime of nearly $100,000 and healthcare coverage for employee and spouse at no contribution from them for life.
FACT: New employees would also earn a good living -- the proposed $22 per hour is still 17%-42% higher than similar Memphis jobs.
FACT: Union leadership has not provided any proposals in writing and has not allowed its membership the opportunity to vote to keep their strong pay and benefits.
FACT: All of Kellogg Company’s proposals can and should be bargained as part of the supplemental contract negotiations.
MYTH: According to this proposed contract, current employees would lose seniority to new hires. Not true. Current employees would maintain seniority.
MYTH: This proposed contract and the hiring of new employees would put the job security of current employees in jeopardy. False. Hiring new employees would not affect the job security of others.
MYTH: New employees would not be provided healthcare benefits. False. Although not part of our formal proposals, we did have discussions with the Union about Kellogg’s willingness to explore providing healthcare insurance and 401(k) to new, “casual,” employees.
MYTH: Based on this proposed contract, new employees would be part-time workers. Untrue. New employees would be full-time workers.
MYTH: Union leaders continue to work toward a resolution. False. Union leaders left the table days before negotiations were set to end, and they never returned.
MYTH: Kellogg is unwilling to meet or work with the union to reach an agreement. Not true. Through a mediator, Kellogg offers every week to meet with the union. As of yet, the Union has not accepted the invitation.
Letter to Memphis City Council (02/04/14)
Week 28 Update
March 27, 2014
Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board has decided to formally litigate charges brought against Kellogg Company by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union.
Kellogg is confident that all of our proposals for a new contract at our Memphis cereal plant are absolutely appropriate for these supplemental negotiations.
The BCTGM alleges that one proposal put forth by Kellogg during the contract negotiations at our Memphis plant must be bargained under the "master" contract, not Memphis’s supplemental contract.
The decision by Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board to litigate this matter does not mean the claims brought by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union have merit; rather it provides both sides with the opportunity to present evidence before an administrative law judge. We look forward to presenting our considerable evidence on this issue.
Rather than litigation, Kellogg would like nothing more than to see our Memphis employees back to work with a fair and competitive contract – one that protects the wages and benefits of current employees and provides above-market wages for new employees.
Unfortunately, the BCTGM remains unwilling to re-engage in negotiations with Kellogg or allow its members to vote on our latest contract proposal.
Week 24 Update
March 3, 2014
This weekend, Kellogg Company mailed home a letter to all hourly Memphis employees containing information further explaining the state of the cereal business – as well as the Memphis operation – and the impact both have on Kellogg's proposed contract to our Memphis employees. (see link to that document below)
Again this week, Kellogg Company's chief negotiator participated in a regular update call with the federal mediator assigned to us. We continue to express our availability to resume negotiations, but have not been contacted by the Union to come back to the table. There continue to be no scheduled meetings between the Union and the Company.
Week 23 Update
February 21, 2014
Again this week – Feb. 18 – Kellogg Company's chief negotiator participated in a regular update call with the federal mediator assigned to us.
Despite repeatedly expressing our availability to resume negotiations, Kellogg has not been contacted by the Union to come back to the table, nor do we believe they have allowed the bargaining unit to vote on the proposed contract. In fact, outside of two meetings coordinated by the mediator, there have been no negotiations with the Union since they left the bargaining table, several days prior to contract expiration.
There continue to be no scheduled meetings between the Union and the Company.
Week 22 Update
February 14, 2014
On Feb. 12, Kellogg Company's chief negotiator participated in a regular weekly update call with the federal mediator assigned to us.
There continue to be no scheduled meetings between the Union and the Company.
Additionally, on Feb. 9, Kellogg's Global Vice President, Labor Relations, Ed Thompson authored an op-ed in the Memphis Commercial Appeal (see link to the right), furthering our efforts to ensure that our Memphis employees have accurate information in regard to the Company's proposals.
Week 15-21 Update
February 07, 2014
Kellogg Company would like to see our employees in Memphis back at work as soon as possible.
We continue to hear from local Memphis residents in regard to the work stoppage there – many of whom have voiced their concern that the Union refuses to accept a contract that protects existing employee wages and benefits.
Once again, Kellogg urges its employees in Memphis to ask their Union leaders to allow them to vote on the company's proposals or – at least – resume their participation in these negotiations.
Weekly follow-up phone calls with the federal mediator continue, but have yielded no movement from the Union and no progress, to date.
Kellogg remains available to meet with the Union to address concerns or answer questions in an effort to reach an agreement on our offer or consider any proposals from the Union.
Week 13-14 Update
December 20, 2013
Kellogg recently has heard from several of our Memphis employees and their family members, all of whom have shared their concerns about the work stoppage there. We appreciate their outreach and share these concerns. We, too, would like to see our Memphis employees back at work. Once we agree to a fair and competitive contract, we all can get back to the important business of keeping this plant moving forward.
Kellogg urges its employees in Memphis to ask their Union leaders to resume their participation in these negotiations.
The company's proposed contract does not impact current employees' wages and benefits – including healthcare – and would provide competitive, above-market wages for any future hires. Those “casual” employees would also be full-time – NOT part-time – employees and earn about $22 per hour, or $6 less per hour than our current Memphis employees.
Kellogg has been – and remains – available to meet with the Union to address concerns or answer questions in an effort to reach an agreement on our offer or consider any proposals from the Union. Regrettably, the Union has not yet provided the Company any written proposals during these negotiations, so there is nothing for us to consider at this time.
Week 11- 12 Update
December 9, 2013
On Dec. 9, Kellogg Company mailed home a letter to all hourly Memphis employees containing information pertaining to their health insurance policies. The Company has and will make every effort to ensure Memphis employees have the necessary information to continue those benefit policies. (see link to that document on this website)
The Company continues to be available to meet with the Union at any time, in an effort to reach an agreement on Kellogg's Last/Best Offer, or to consider any written proposals that the Union would make. Unfortunately, as of Nov. 22, the Union still has not submitted any written proposals, so Kellogg has nothing to consider at this time.
Weekly follow-up phone calls with the federal mediator are ongoing, but have yielded no movement from the Union and no progress, to date.
Letter to Memphis Employees (re: COBRA) (12/09/13)
Week 8-10 Update
Nov. 22, 2013
Kellogg's and the Union's chief negotiators met on Wed., Oct. 30, in Memphis, with the federal mediator assigned to us.
The Company attended the meeting – and continues to be available to meet with the Union at any time – in an effort to reach an agreement on Kellogg's Last/Best Offer, or to consider any written proposals that the Union would make. Unfortunately, as of Nov. 22, the Union still has not submitted any written proposals, so Kellogg has nothing to consider at this time.
Week 7 Update
Oct. 28, 2013
Kellogg and the Union have not met since Mon., Oct. 21. The parties will meet at 9 a.m. (CT) on Wed., Oct. 30, in Memphis, with the federal mediator assigned to us.
The Company will attend the meeting and remains available to meet with the Union and address any concerns - or answer any questions - in an effort to reach an agreement on Kellogg's Last/Best Offer, or to consider any written proposals that the Union would make, at any time.
Negotiations FAQ (11/01/13)
Week 6 Summary
Oct. 22, 2013
The supplemental contract between Kellogg and the BCTGM Union in Memphis expired at 12:01 a.m. (CT), Oct. 20. The Company provided the 48-hour lockout notice to the Union at that time. (See link to that document on this website).
Prior to contract expiration, Kellogg was contacted by the federal mediator assigned to us, to arrange a meeting between the parties at 9 a.m. (CT) Monday, Oct. 21.
Week 5 Summary
Oct. 16, 2013
Since Sept. 17, 2013, Kellogg and the BCTGM Union have met on 13 different occasions to negotiate a supplemental contract in Memphis, which covers the approximately 220 hourly Memphis plant employees. After weeks at the bargaining table, the Union – regrettably – has indicated they are not willing to agree to the Company's key proposals. On Tuesday, Oct. 15, they informed the Company that they were done negotiating over those key proposals, and left the table.
Week 4 Summary
Oct. 15, 2013
The Company and the Union continued to bargain a new Memphis supplemental contract during the week of Oct. 7, 2013 – meeting on Oct. 8, 9 and 10. The Company has informed the Union repeatedly that we are prepared to bargain every available day between now and contract expiration, on Oct. 20. That said, the Union has made known they will bargain twice more – on Oct. 15 and 16. (Please see the updated schedule of negotiations).
Week 1 - 3 Summary
Oct. 7, 2013
On Sept. 17, 2013, the Union and Kellogg Company kicked off negotiations for its Memphis supplemental contract which expires on Oct. 20, 2013.
Bob Solt, Vice President, Manufacturing, provided the Union an overview of the state of the RTEC category, Kellogg's cereal business and the challenges and opportunities in Memphis. He reiterated what the Union has been hearing from the Company for more than a year – that there is excess capacity in our RTEC network and that Memphis is the high-cost producer of several products, driven primarily by the significantly above-market wage and benefits paid to our hourly employees there.