The Associated Press reported that Kellogg’s will begin hiring new workers to permanently replace some of its 1,400 striking grain plant workers, as the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company and union officials were still able to reach a deal. are not. Kellogg’s employees have been hitting picket lines since October 5 to demand changes to the two-tier pay system, which results in new employees seeing lower wages and benefits than their older counterparts.

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Kellogg’s said Monday that it had not been able to find common ground again with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. Now striking workers must continue to picket through Thanksgiving because the next round of talks is not scheduled to begin until the week of December 6, the AP reported.

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Meanwhile, Kellogg’s said it has to rely on temporary workers and new permanent, salaried workers to keep production afloat.

“We understand the hardship that the protracted strike represents for our employees,” the company said in a statement. “After 15 negotiating sessions in 2021 – and no offer for membership has been put to vote – we are left with no choice but to move into the next phase of our contingency to serve the short-term and long-term interests of our customers and consumers. Have plans.”

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The company said that for the disputed two-tier pay system, it suggested a new scheme that would allow workers to move to an upper level of pay and benefits after four years of experience, but the union has not accepted the proposal. . According to the AP, 30 percent of workers at Kellogg’s plants currently receive low wages.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below:

Kellogg’s strike covers four plants at Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, which makes all brands of Kellogg’s cereal, including Frosted Flakes and Apple Jack.

The strike has intensified, with the company going to court earlier this month to obtain an order that sets out guidelines for how workers behave on the picket line in Omaha. The company complained that striking workers were blocking the entrance to its grain plant and threatening replacement workers, but union officials denied any wrongdoing.

The union believes it has an advantage in contract negotiations due to the ongoing widespread labor shortage in the economy. Union members have also said they believe they deserve more after working longer hours during the coronavirus pandemic over the past 18 months.

In a more recent strike, more than 10,000 John Deere workers returned to work earlier this month after securing a 10 percent pay increase and better benefits in a six-year new deal.