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Nabisco Workers End Weekslong Strike After Reaching New Contract

  • September 19, 2021

The photos also indicated that the contract includes a $5,000 bonus, with the company doubling its 401(k) matching contributions from 25 percent to 50 percent for up to 6 percent of employees’ eligible pay starting in 2022.

Though the union’s previous contract expired months ago, the impasse began in earnest in August, when workers at a Nabisco bakery in Portland, Ore., went on strike. Their union contended that Mondelez had sought unreasonable contract concessions during a period of strong revenue gains for the company.

Workers in Colorado, Virginia, Illinois and Georgia followed suit, with more than 1,000 Nabisco employees taking part in the strike, the union estimated. The strike affected three bakeries and three small sales distribution facilities, according to Mondelez, which is based in Chicago.

As the strike wore on, tensions mounted over the contract dispute — and as Mondelez disclosed its profits. For the three months ending in June, the company reported a 12 percent gain in revenue compared with the previous year.

Last week in Portland, striking workers on a picket line blocked several vehicles trying to leave a Nabisco plant, leading to an altercation with security guards, the television station KATU reported.

During the contract negotiations, the union had pressed Mondelez to restore a pension plan for Nabisco employees, which it had replaced with a 401(k) program in 2018.

A key point of contention between the union and the company involved overtime: Mondelez wanted some Nabisco employees to work for shifts of up to 12 hours without being eligible for overtime pay, in exchange for working fewer days a week. Those on weekend shifts, previously eligible for extra pay, would get the premium only after working 40 hours in a week. Those weekend shifts will mostly be filled by newer employees under the terms of the agreement, according to the contract photos posted online.

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