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The Kellogg Co. and a union representing more than 1,400 striking cereal workers will resume contract negotiations this week after the two sides failed to reach another agreement right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Kellogg's and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which overseas employees at plants in Omaha, Nebraska; Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, will head back to the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the cereal maker.
Union workers from Kellogg’s picket outside the cereal maker’s headquarters as they remain on strike in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S., October 21, 2021. ( REUTERS/Emily Elconin / Reuters Photos)
The two sides tried to resolve an assortment of pay and benefits issues — such as holiday and vacation pay, loss of premium health care and reduced retirement benefits – last Monday but failed to reach an agreement, putting further strain on the company's plants that manufacturer cereal brands including Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks.
KELLOGG, CEREAL WORKERS UNION RESTART NEGOTIATIONS AMID STRIKE
"We came prepared and presented a concept that provides immediate ‘graduation’ to legacy for all employees with four or more years of service," Kellogg's wrote in a statement. "This concept would also provide a clear path for the remaining employees to graduate."
However, Kellogg's claims that the "union was not prepared to reach any agreement nor put our latest proposal to a vote" and that it asked to delay negotiations until the week of Dec. 6.
Representatives for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union have not immediately responded to FOX Business' request for comment.
Last week's attempt marked the 15th negotiation session in 2021 without any "proposals put to membership for a vote," Kellogg's said.
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As negotiations continue, Kellogg's said it is "left with no choice but to best serve the short- and long-term interests of our customers and consumers by moving to the next phase of our contingency plans."
Wyatt Elmore, a 14-year Kellogg employee raises his fist as honking cars pass by while union workers from Kellogg’s picket outside the cereal maker’s headquarters. ( REUTERS/Emily Elconin / Reuters Photos)
Kellogg's said it will run affected plants with hourly and salaried employees, third-party resources, and temporary replacements. The company will also hire permanent replacements, "where appropriate."
KELLOGG CO. ACTIVELY HIRING, TRYING TO REPLACE STRIKING WORKERS AFTER NEGOTIATIONS WITH UNION FALL FLAT
However, the company is still imploring its striking employees to come back to work.
"Our first choice is to have our employees return to work. We continue to welcome those who choose to return to work, as we have since the strike began," the company said in a statement last week.
The company even reassured striking employees earlier this month that they have "a right to work during a strike, and this right is protected by federal and state laws."
It's part of the company's efforts to try and mitigate supply chain disruptions since the strike began at the beginning of October.
The company has said that despite the strike, it has "a responsibility to our business, customers and consumers to produce cereal."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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