EAST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP Pa. (WHTM) — A small fire occurred at the Kellogg’s plant in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County on Saturday, Dec. 11.
A spokesperson for the company says fire crews were called to a part of the building around 9:00 pm Saturday night. This is after a piece of machinery overheated and smoke spread in part of the building.
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People in that area were evacuated for a short time. No one was hurt from the incident.
Kellogg’s and the Union are still at odds. Workers want to get back to work and the company wants to provide consumers with cereal they know and love.
‘It’s David and Goliath here. Kellogg’s is Goliath and David is the Union and we’re small. And we’re standing up to Kellogg’s,” Kerry Williams, local Union president, said.
Monday, Dec. 13, marks week 11 since Kellogg’s workers in Lancaster hit the picket line.
“We’re not asking for an unreasonable contract that we know is going to bankrupt Kellogg, because why would we do that? It’s our livelihood and third and four generations working here,” Williams added.
In that time, temporary workers have come and gone and Williams has expressed concern over how well they may have been trained. This weekend, when a piece the piece of machinery overheated causing smoke to pour out, Williams said that in that environment, simple mistakes can have serious consequences.
“Lucky it was only a fire, it could’ve been an explosion,” Williams added. “Especially with cereal dust, it’s quite explosive, you have to know when to keep it clean and how to clean it.”
Kellogg’s has said it plans to press ahead with hiring permanent replacements for the strikers. If Kellogg’s decides not to go back to the bargaining table, it will be up to the National Relations Labor Board to decide whether the two sides have been negotiating in good faith.
In the meantime, the court of public opinion seems firmly on the side of labor with thousands of Twitter and Reddit users supporting the workers and even President Joe Biden taking Kellogg’s to the task.
“Today we just had an individual from Texas. I mean some of those letters are from Florida, down south, other states. The support is still overwhelming that we received,” Williams added.
abc27 has reached out to Kellogg’s for comment. They say they have made every effort to reach a fair agreement.