Union members approve new deal, end Nabisco strike

Local

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nabisco workers in five cities across the country voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement Saturday, ending the strike that started with 200 employees Aug. 10.

For more than a month, employees at Nabisco’s Northeast Portland bakery took to a picket line to voice their concerns which included the offshoring of jobs, removal of pensions, changes to shift lengths and overtime pay proposed by management.

Their actions spread to other Nabisco facilities in Denver, Chicago, Atlanta and Richmond, Va.

Union members at all of these locations voted in approval of the new deal, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union announced Saturday.

“The BCTGM’s striking members made enormous sacrifices in order to achieve a quality contract that preserves our Union’s high standards for wages, hours and benefits for current and future Nabisco workers,” BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton said. “Their sacrifice will benefit all BCTGM members and working people around the country for years to come.”

The four-year contracts — retroactively dated to March 1 — provide employees with ratification bonuses, hourly wage increases every year, an increased company match to 401(k) contributions, and updates to workplace policies.

“Our goal has always been to reach agreements that would provide our union-represented colleagues with good wages and competitive benefits, while also positioning our U.S. bakeries and sales distribution facilities for future growth and success,” said Glen Walter, Mondelēz International North America president. “We are pleased that we were able to accomplish that goal with these new contracts and that our colleagues chose to ratify them.”

Over the course of the strike, some local and state politicians joined the fray to advocate on behalf of the workers.

In late August, the Oregon Legislature’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus sent a letter to Mondelez International — Nabisco’s parent company — urging it to negotiate a fair contract for their workers.

And on Sept. 4, Portland City Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Carmen Rubio joined the picket line outside the Nabisco bakery facility in Northeast Portland.

“I know the sacrifice you make, I know what it’s costing your family,” Hardesty told the striking workers. “This is happening all across the country because of you.”

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