LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Kellogg’s workers overwhelmingly voted no on Tuesday so they’ll stay right on the picket line until they get what they call a fair and equitable contract.
“The membership got to vote on a contract. Kellogg’s has been I wouldn’t say begging but wanting us to allow the membership to vote on a contract. We got them a contract to vote upon and the membership spoke,” Kerry Williams, the local union president said.
abc27 News spoke to local union president Kerry Williams by phone hours after the votes were counted. A “yes” vote could’ve ended a 10-week strike at four cereal plants across the country, including one in Lancaster county. The biggest sticking point was Kellogg’s two-tiered hiring system. Basically — newer workers get paid less, and have inferior benefits, compared to longer-tenured employees.
“The transitional piece is still not sitting well with a lot of people. Our original goal was to eliminate that classification. We still retained it to some degree but with different parameters and I’m guessing the membership did not like that. They want everyone to be made whole,” Williams said.
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Kellogg’s issued a statement, saying it made six offers and said in part: “it appears the union created unrealistic expectations for their employees.” Kerry Williams says he’s not sure what that’s supposed to mean.
“I don’t know what the unrealistic expectations are. I mean, we just want a fair and equitable contract. Again it goes back to people who thought this was a bad contract, so they voted it down,” Williams said.
For now, the union says it’s ready to get back to the bargaining table, and hopefully back to work.
“We appreciate the support we’ve been receiving from the community, and overwhelmingly great support,” he added.