Joe Biden, President of the United States, joined the growing chorus representing labor rights advocates as well as workers who condemned a Kellogg Company plan to hire permanent replacements for striking union workers. rejectingThis week, a contract proposal was made.
“Collective bargaining is an essential tool to protect the rights of workers that should be free from threats and intimidation from employers,” Biden saidIn a statement. “That’s why I am deeply troubled by reports of Kellogg’s plans to permanently replace striking workers.”
Kellogg’s workers who belong to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) have been on strikeSince early October, they have been walking out of cereal factories in Battle Creek (Michigan), Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Omaha, Nebraska, and Memphis, Tennessee.
“After 19 negotiation sessions in 2021, and still no deal reached, we will continue to focus on moving forward to operate our business,” Kellogg North America president Chris Hood saidTuesday’s statement announced that approximately 1,400 hourly employees will be replaced.
The president said Friday that “permanently replacing striking workers is an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods. I have long opposed permanent striker replacements and I strongly support legislation that would ban that practice.”
Biden, who is well-known for his famously pledged last year to “be the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” continued:
And such action undermines the critical role collective bargaining plays in providing workers a voice and the opportunity to improve their lives while contributing fully to their employer’s success.
Unions created the middle class in this country. My unyielding support of unions includes support to collective bargaining, which I will vigorously defend.
I urge employers and unions to commit fully to the challenging task of working out their differences at the bargaining table in a manner that fairly advances both parties’ interests.
Both BCTGMThe progressive media organization More Perfect Union welcomed the president’s interjection, with the latter saying that “Biden is right to wade into an ongoing labor dispute and use the power of the presidency to stand up for working people, as we have been urging him to do.”
BREAKING: President Biden condemns Kellogg’s plans to permanently replace striking workers, calling it an “an existential attack on the union and its members’ jobs and livelihoods.” pic.twitter.com/yCqqQ5bD0Z
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) December 10, 2021
Although Biden did no mention the Protecting the Right to Organize Act by name, he has endorsed the legislation House-approved legislation — a sweeping pro-union measure that would prohibit companies like Kellogg’s from permanently replacing workers who are on strike.
The PRO Act is one of the many bills that has prompted progressives in Congress and beyond to take action. callto abolish the filibuster so Democrats have the opportunity to get their agenda through the evenly divided Senate.
In the absence of federal legislative action, some supporters of Kellogg’s workers have taken matters into their own hands — floodingThe company that submitted fake applications.
Despite the grassroots advocacy against the hiring of so-called “scabs,” Kris Bahner, a spokesperson for the company, told Insider on Friday that the online hiring process was “fully operational” and new hires were expected to start “very soon.”