October 2021 | Volume 13, Issue 3
According to the article, striking union members voted to accept a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with snack company Mondelez International, ending a walkout that began last month.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union recently announced the results of the vote.
The ratification ends a walkout by more than 1,000 hourly employees at a Virginia plant, bakeries in Portland, Oregon, Chicago, and three distribution centers across the country.
The workers were seeking increased pay, improved benefits, and better working conditions.
About 400 workers at the plant in Henrico, Virginia, that makes foods like Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, and Chips Ahoy! cookies started striking on August 16th. The plant had been owned by Nabisco and later by Kraft Foods Inc. It now is part of Mondelez, which was created when Kraft Foods split into two companies in 2012.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Darlene Carpenter, the business agent for the union’s Local 358. “This is a major win. We have been like David, who took down Goliath because people stood up for their beliefs.”
Current and future employees maintained insurance benefits in the new contract, Carpenter said. The company had proposed a two-tier health plan and wanted workers to pay more for health care. Company proposals for a new alternative work schedule and getting rid of premium pay for working weekends were also rejected, Carpenter said.
Workers get a $5,000 ratification bonus, increased company match to 401(k) contributions and raises each year of the contract, Carpenter said.
“This has been a long and difficult fight for our striking members, their families and our union,” Anthony Shelton, the union’s international president, said in a statement.
The company was pleased the union ratified the contracts, Mondelez International Executive Vice President and North America operations President Glen Walter said.
“Our goal has always been to reach agreements that would provide our union-represented colleagues with good wages and competitive benefits, while also positioning our U.S. bakeries and sales distribution facilities for future growth and success,” Walter said in a statement.
- Regarding labor-management relations, what is a strike? What is a collective bargaining agreement? What is a walkout?
Quite simply expressed, a strike is labor’s election to not show up for work. A collective bargaining agreement is an enforceable contract (once reached) between labor and management outlining the terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working conditions, benefits, etc. A walkout occurs when labor chooses to physically leave the workplace.
- Focus on the requests made by labor regarding the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Were these ordinary or unusual demands? Explain your response.
As indicated in the article, labor requests regarding the terms and conditions of the Mondelez International collective bargaining agreement included increased pay, improved benefits and better working conditions. These are classic issues related to labor-management negotiations and collective bargaining agreements, so labor requests in this case were quite ordinary.
- Focus on the requests made by management regarding the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Were these ordinary or unusual demands? Explain your response.
As indicated in the article, Mondelez International had proposed a two-tier health plan and wanted workers to pay more for health care. Mondelez had also proposed a new alternative work schedule and getting rid of premium pay for working weekends. Again, pay and benefits are classic issues related to labor-management negotiations and collective bargaining agreements, so management requests in this case were also quite ordinary.