Cereal production in Battle Creek has ground to a halt as employees at the Kellogg Corporation are on strike. Workers at the world's largest cereal company hit the picket line today (10/5) after their contracts expired at midnight.

Representatives for The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union which represents the employees say they have been trying to negotiate a "fair contract that provides a living wage and good benefits.”

Bryon Leche is an electrician for the Kellogg Corporation and he tells Grand Rapids TV station WOOD-TV that hours and scheduling are at the heart of the strike.

“Everybody in this plant makes incredible sacrifices that most people wouldn’t understand. They work eight days a week at least and that’s months on end without a scheduled day off," Leche says. "Some people at the plant don’t have a scheduled day for the entire year. We aren’t willing to accept that anymore.”

Other employees walking the picket line say they're fighting for equal pay, as some employees are currently making less money than others doing the same job.

Union representatives say the main sticking points yet to be resoved include:

  • Cost of living adjustment compensation
  • Making transitional employees permanent
  • PTO Policy
  • Holiday Pay
  • Removal of union logo from produced products

The strike affects workers in the Battle Creek location but also Kellogg employees in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; and Omaha, Nebraska.

A representative of the Kellogg Corporation issued a statement which reads in part, "Kellogg is committed to negotiating a fair and competitive contract that reflects the contributions of our employees and helps set our cereal business up for long-term success."

The full contents of the statement is available here.

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