Nabisco workers gain support of Oregon legislators


BIPOC Caucus urges Mondelez to grant workers a fair contract

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nabisco workers now have Oregon state representatives in their corner.

The Oregon Legislature’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus sent a letter to Mondelez International Tuesday, urging the company to negotiate a fair contract for their workers.

The signed letter comes as Nabisco workers represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ Union Local 364 enter their third week on strike. According to the union, workers’ top concerns include the offshoring of jobs, removal of pensions, changes to shift lengths and overtime pay proposed by management.

The strike movement, which began with 200 workers in Portland on Aug. 10, now has the support of over 1,000 union workers from five states.

Sen. Lew Frederick is a member of the BIPOC Caucus, currently representing the district in which the plants are located. Frederick told KOIN 6 News one of the primary goals of the BIPOC Caucus’s letter was to gain some level of predictability for workers.

“We really don’t want to have a lower standard of living,” Senator Frederick stated. “So this is an important factor for the community — not just the BIPOC community — but the general community.”

In a letter addressed to Mondelez International CEO, Dirk van de Put the BIPOC Caucus stated: “The BIPOC Caucus was established to advance racial justice through policy change and advocacy for community investments. At the cornerstone of our racial justice work is advocating for good paying jobs, benefits, and economic opportunities, particularly for marginalized communities…”

“We not only have marginalized communities, we also have marginalized systems within business at times,” Frederick explained. “Certain folks not getting full benefits of the community and being kept out of the middle class. And we really want to try to encourage middle class, solid, predictable jobs.”

The BIPOC Caucus called on Mondelez International to “honor the workers who have helped make this
company profitable through a global pandemic,” by keeping jobs in Portland, investing in the community, and ensuring fair compensation and benefits.

“These are good, solid union jobs. So, we want to make sure that they continue to be that,” Frederick told KOIN 6 News. “And are able to attract people to stay in there and make the cookies, the crackers, and other things that people like here in Oregon and elsewhere.”

In the company’s most recent statement on the strike, Mondelez International wrote its goal is to continue to provide “Employees with good wages and competitive benefits.”

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