A shelf of Oreo cookies is lined in Pittsburgh’s market on August 8, 2018.
Gene J. Puskar, via Associated Press

Oreo, Ritz crackers and similar workers NabiscoAfter a week of reorganization, snacks will be back at work. five-week strikeThis brought attention at the national level to their working conditions.

They got a lot of what they fought for ― heading off a serious overhaul of the company’s health care plans ― but they didn’t get everything.

There were nearly 1000 workers at the affected sites, including those in Portland and Aurora, Colorado as well as Richmond, Virginia, Norcross, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia. Mondelez International owned Nabisco and was trying to get them out of overtime. They also wanted new hires with more expensive plans.

The workers’ union, the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM), reached a tentative agreement with the company last week and put the proposal up for a vote on Saturday. According to officials, members voted 590 to 200 in favor of the ratification.

It is 75% who support the agreement, and 25% who are against. This suggests that there was a significant minority of workers who wanted to go on strike but return to negotiations with Mondelez.

Darlene Carpenter, the business agent for BCTGM Local 358 in Richmond, said members there were “ecstatic” about the contract. The international union did not tally votes individually from the five work sites but instead pooled all of them into one count, so Carpenter doesn’t know what the vote breakdown was in Richmond. She believes that it was overwhelming in favor.

“It’s a win-win,” Carpenter told HuffPost. “Richmond, Chicago, Colorado and Georgia, they’re tickled to death.”

Portland was left empty-handed. Mike Burlingham is vice president at BCTGM Local 364. A long-serving employee of the Portland facility said there were many concerns. There were workers there. Employers are urged to applyIn other areas, you can vote against it as well. Portland Mercury reportedThis week.

“I have to assume that the majority of the ‘no’ votes came from Portland, considering how open and vocal everyone here was against it,” Burlingham said.

He admitted that the strike was successful in several ways. Perhaps most significantly, the union resisted the company’s attempt to make changes to the health care plan. Mondelez proposed a system known as a two-tier system. Existing employees would continue to have the same quality plan while new hires would be subject to higher deductibles or premiums.

Because people are not paid the same amount for similar work, the scheme could cause union divisions. Carpenter stated it was essential that Carpenter and the union fought to get that concession.

“They wanted to do that two-tier system. That’s gone,” she said. “There are no changes to health care.”

Other wins were also included in the contract.

Mondelez will double its match to workers’ 401(k) plans and increase short-term disability payments, according to a copy of the agreement first posted by the media outlet More Perfect UnionThis is. Each year, workers will be paid a raise of 60 cents per hour and a $5,000 bonus to ratify the four-year contract.

Such bonuses are common in deals that end strikes, after workers have sacrificed their wages and survived on money from the union’s strike fund. Nabisco workers were forced to take on part-time employment in order to compensate for their income loss.

Hence, some workers voted against the contract.

It was an agreement change regarding overtime and scheduling for Burlingham, and others in Portland.

“It’s because of the verbiage of the weekend crew,” Burlingham said. “Many of us feel it’s just that foot in the door for an alternative workweek, which was a big thing that we went on strike for.”

Burlingham was speaking about a Mondelez proposal to change to a schedule in which workers could work three 12-hour shifts from Friday to Monday. Many members rejected the proposal because of their long-standing weekend pay premiums, which boosted their earnings and dissuaded the company from scheduling weekends work. On Saturday, workers received time and half and Sunday they got double the time.

Both sides eventually reached an agreement. Mondelez could hire additional crews without any premium to fill the weekend three-day shifts. They would work for 36 hours, and get paid 40. This would limit the amount of work that these crews will be required to do so that existing workers can still receive weekend overtime.

It’s a better arrangement for workers than Mondelez initially proposed, but it is still a kind of two-tier system since new hires would work between Friday and Monday on lesser terms.

“Anyone who comes in the door will be subject to this new schedule,” Burlingham said. “They’re just going to get hired right in and will be stuck on it for an entire year before they can even be considered moving out of that. To me, I don’t like it.”

Burlingham was also able to agree to the anonymity of another worker in Portland who requested privacy.

“The weekend crew will be lower seniority but end up taking the premium pay ability from higher seniority [workers],” they said. “But they’ll be working for straight pay.”

Even so, “we got most of what we wanted,” the worker said.

A Mondelez spokesperson said in an email that there was “no specific timeline” for hiring the weekend crews. After the strike, Mondelez hosted post-strike training programs at affected bakery locations and distribution centres until full production can resume.

Burlingham stated that workers may not be aware of how their company is implementing the weekends shifts or how it affects them. Even though he doesn’t like that change, he said workers never would’ve won what they did had they not taken a stand and garnered so much public support, from Portland locals to actor Danny DeVito

“For most of us, this was the very first time we’ve ever gone out on strike before. You don’t know what to expect,” he said. “More and more people started showing up, holding rallies. It was unbelievable. It brought us joy. It’s what helped us go on. We got stronger because of it.”

Source: HuffPost.com.

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