OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Kellogg’s has reached a new tentative agreement with its 1,400 striking cereal plant workers that could bring an end to the strike that began Oct. 5.

On Sunday, members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union are expected to vote on the offer, which includes cost-of living adjustments and an additional $1.10/hour raise for all employees. A previous proposal from Battle Creek, Michigan-based Company was rejected by the union last week.

“We value all of our employees. They have enabled Kellogg to provide food to Americans for more than 115 years,” said Kellogg Company Chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane. “We are hopeful our employees will vote to ratify this contract and return to work.”

Kellogg’s said most workers at its cereal plants earned an average of $120,000 last year although union members have said they work more than 80 hours a week to earn that, and those wages are only available to longtime workers. Kellogg’s employs a two-tiered compensation system. Newer workers receive less pay and fewer benefits.

That pay system has been a sticking point during the negotiations, and Kellogg’s offer didn’t change on that part of the contract. As part of the contract, Kellogg has stated that it will let all workers who have at least four years experience to go up to the more senior legacy pay levels. Union officials previously said that plan wouldn’t let other workers move up quickly enough. The company also suggested eliminating the 30 percent limit that currently exists on workers who earn lower wages at every plant.

This agreement will preserve the employees’ health care benefits.

The strike includes four plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee that make all of Kellogg’s well-known brands of cereal, including Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Apple Jacks.

Throughout the strike Kellogg’s has been trying to keep its plants operating with salaried employees and outside workers, and the company said late last month that it planned to start hiring permanent replacements for the striking workers.


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