BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — National labor leaders and union members from across Michigan rallied at Kellogg Headquarters in Battle Creek Wednesday to show support to those on strike, and thank those that are joining the fight.
The initial strike began Oct. 4 after worker’s contracts expired and the union and the Kellogg Company could not negotiate an agreement. Now, strikers are demanding that workers get treated better, starting with ending what they say is exploitation.
According to the union’s website, the company has now agreed to resume bargaining Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Trevor Bidelman, President of Local 3-G Union and fourth generation Kellogg's worker, said the company seems willing to get rid of its two tier pay system, which is a system he said takes away from future employees considered bottom-tier, and gives top-tier employees a different pay level.
He said he's hoping the company comes to the table with sincerity.
"We got to stop making it to where the future worker has less than I do. I’m not going to have my child go work at Kellogg’s and I have to explain to him why he does not have what everybody in his family before him did have," Bidelman said.
The company has also said it plans to cut more than 212 jobs at its Battle Creek location.
Bidelman said morale outside of the building is great, though. He said strikers are prepared to fight this fight one day longer than the company will.
Strikers are in their fourth week of demanding better treatment of workers. Bidelman said it's the longest workers have been outside of the fence in a while, but that the fight for these changes need to happen now.
"We’ve kind of been 20, 30 years of this, of avoiding fights and compromising and selling out the future to do that. That’s really what we’re digging in on," he said. "The future is not for sale, and we’re not going to sell out future workers in order to keep ourselves safe."
Leaders shared ways you can get involved like walking with the strikers, petitioning Kellogg's and using social media to share your thoughts.