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Frosted Flakes not so grrreat

New York Teacher

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More than 225 workers have been locked out of their jobs at a Kellogg’s plant in Memphis, Tenn., for three months in a bitter contract dispute.

Kellogg’s is the maker of Frosted Flakes with its well-known advertising slogan, “They’re grrrreat!” The company has long been considered a fair employer where blue-collar workers could earn a middle-class living.

But today, workers say, Kellogg’s is another American company trying to increase corporate profits at employees’ expense.

“It’s simple — Kellogg’s is a highly profitable company and just wants to pay people less,” said Joey Watts, who has worked at the Memphis plant for 28 years. “It’s just plain greed.”

The dispute centers around the company’s bid to expand a group of lower-paid, temporary workers, which is currently capped at 30 percent of the workforce.

Kellogg’s claims it needs to drive down labor costs to the level of its competitors. The union is afraid that lifting the cap would allow the company to create a permanent second tier of workers and to push out longer-term employees.

Turning to a tactic increasingly used by U.S. employers in labor disputes, the company locked out the workers after contract negotiations came to a standstill in October.

The New York Times, Feb. 10
Labor Notes, Jan. 20

Related Topics: National News