Time to avoid Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops, since Kellogg’s has locked out the workers making the cereal at its Memphis factory and instead bused in scabs through an Ohio unionbusting company.
Bradshaw says the lockout is part of a plan to make Kellogg union-free. “If we win in Memphis, they have to wait until the master contract expires to make these changes,” he said. “If we lose in Memphis, it’s going everywhere.
“Other companies are going to see it. General Mills has already called our international president and said, ‘What are you doing about Kellogg?’ He’s thinking if Kellogg can do it, they can, too.”
The Memphis lockout is only the latest step in a series of increasingly hostile anti-union moves by Kellogg globally. Management recently announced that two union plants in Australia and Canada will close this year, and production will move to non-union facilities.
Kellogg also recently shifted 58 million pounds per year of cereal production from Memphis to Mexico. Bradshaw said workers in Mexico are required to live in a housing compound near the factory and are bused to work. Some have been kidnapped by drug cartels.
In 1996, more than 800 people worked at the Memphis facility. Now it stands just above 200. Much of the work is automated.
Hardly surprising that a giant corporation like Kellogg’s is using capital mobility as a union-busting strategy. Capital mobility and the outsourcing of American jobs has done more than anything to undermine the middle class, making the working class ever more poor, and generate the enormous income inequality of the New Gilded Age.