Nationwide walkout of Nabisco workers

September 12, 2021

From the September-October 2021 issue of News & Letters

Chicago—Workers in the Bakers, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers union at the Nabisco plant on the South Side of Chicago went on strike on Aug. 19, nine days after fellow workers walked out in Portland, Ore. With the strike joined by workers at Aurora, Colo., Richmond, Va., and Norcross, Ga., every BCTGM Local at Nabisco nationwide is on the picketline—while the company is vowing to maintain some scab production.

After workers had pulled shifts as long as 16 hours since the pandemic began to satisfy the surge in demand from homebound customers, Nabisco owner Mondelez had demanded even more: 12-hour rotating shifts that would not only claim every hour of a worker’s week at different times, but would keep pay generally at straight time even on weekends. These unilateral demands were rejected despite the threat of moving production to Mexico hanging over negotiations—Mondelez gutted the workforce at the Chicago plant in 2016.

More than 30 years ago, the Reagan administration’s manipulation of labor law opened the door for corporations to demand givebacks. Workers on picketlines described in News & Letters similar schemes of 12-hour rotating shifts. Workers at Staley in Decatur, Ill., fought that demand for more than a year while locked out of the plant. Now Nabisco workers have to fight the same battle all over again, while also demanding the return of their pension benefits. BOYCOTT NABISCO.

—Union warehouse worker

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