Kellogg’s Memphis lockout is unlawful because employment terms are covered by a master contract that cannot be negotiated ahead of expiry in 2015, says the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union.
In a letter seen by BakeryandSnacks.com, addressed to the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, and dated March 25, the BCTGM’s Memphis head Kevin Bradshaw explicitly outlined why the union believed Kellogg had acted illegally in its lockout.
Bradshaw wrote: “When the local union told the company that the issues of wages, benefits and work rules for regular full-time employees were already settled in the master contract, the company locked out the workforce and has been trying to use brutal and punishing economic pressure on them and their families in order to force them into accepting these contract changes.”
He claimed Kellogg’s bargaining demands over rates of pay, benefits and work rules for newly hired regular, full-time Memphis employees were already settled in a binding agreement between the company and the union that does not expire until next year.
Any collective bargaining or change of that master contract ahead of expiry would be unlawful, he said, and the BCTGM expected the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to take action against Kellogg shortly.
The NLRB has commenced an investigation into the Kellogg Memphis lockout which has seen more than 200 workers locked out since October 22.
The Kellogg Company told this site it was acting within the law, because the issues fell under a local, supplemental contract, not the master agreement. CLICK HERE for more.
*This news has been edited on March 27 to include Kellogg's response and link to the follow-up article