Kellogg's reaches tentative agreement with striking workers

The results of the contract vote are expected to be released Tuesday

A new tentative agreement between Kellogg's and its striking workers will be put to a vote on Sunday.

The 1,400 cereal plant workers have been on strike since Oct. 5.

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It is not the first time a tentative agreement has been reached. Earlier this month, union members turned down a possible deal.

The new offer put to members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union includes cost-of-living adjustments and a $1.10 per hour raise for all employees.

A previous offer that included 3% raises but only some employees would have received cost-of-living adjustments was overwhelmingly rejected last week.

STRIKING KELLOGG CEREAL WORKERS REJECT TENTATIVE AGREEMENT FOR NEW 5-YEAR CONTRACT

"We value all of our employees. They have enabled Kellogg to provide food to Americans for more than 115 years," Steve Cahillane, the Kellogg Co. chairman and CEO, said. "We are hopeful our employees will vote to ratify this contract and return to work."

The results of the contract vote are expected to be released Tuesday. 

FILE PHOTO: A group of union workers from Kellogg's picket outside the cereal maker's headquarters as they remain on strike in Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S., October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo (REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Union officials declined to comment Thursday on the details of the new five-year deal.

Kellogg’s said most workers at its cereal plants earned an average of $120,000 last year, although union members have said they work more than 80 hours a week to earn that, and those wages are only available to longtime workers.

Under the two-tiered pay system the company uses, newer workers are paid less and receive fewer benefits.

That pay system has been a sticking point during the negotiations, and Kellogg’s offer didn’t change on that part of the contract. The company has said it will allow all workers with at least four years of experience move up to the higher legacy pay level as part of this contract. 

FILE - Striking Kellogg's workers Michael Rodarte, Sue Griffin, Michael Elliott, Eric Bates and Mark Gonzalez stand outside the Omaha, Neb., cereal plant on, Dec. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Josh Funk, File) (  (AP Photo/Josh Funk, File) / AP Newsroom)

Union officials previously said that plan wouldn’t let other workers move up quickly enough. The company has also proposed eliminating the current 30% cap on the number of workers at each plant who receive the lower wages.

The new agreement will also preserve employees health care benefits.

BIDEN SAYS HE IS 'DEEPLY TROUBLED' BY KELLOGG’S PLAN TO PERMANENTLY REPLACE STRIKING WORKERS

Throughout the strike Kellogg's has been trying to keep its plants operating with salaried employees and outside workers, and the company said late last month that it planned to start hiring permanent replacements for the striking workers.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
K KELLOGG CO. 64.80 -1.39 -2.10%

President Joe Biden sharply criticized Kellogg's for threatening to permanently replace workers, saying that doing that would undermine the collective bargaining process.

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The strike includes four plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee that make all of Kellogg’s well-known brands of cereal, including Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Apple Jacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.