Workers making Oreos and other Nabisco snacks have been on strike for five years

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Union workers who make Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, Newtons and other Nabisco snacks are on strike in five states over unfair demands for concessions in contract negotiations.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers unions in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, and Virginia rejected management’s call for changes to shift lengths and overtime rules. Workers are also calling for the restoration of a retirement plan that Nabisco owner Mondelez International replaced with a 401(k) program in 2018 after a contractual stalemate.

We want our pension back. We earned it,” Mike Burlingham, vice president of Local 364 in Portland, Ore, said in an interview. “This is good business where people plan for retirement. If the company could do what it wanted, that would disappear and it wouldn’t be a business worth fighting for.” The union put the number of striking workers at more than 1,000.

The previous contract expired in May. Union workers say they often put in 16-hour workdays due to increased demand for snack foods during the pandemic.

The company is looking for programs where some employees will have shifts of up to 12 hours with no overtime pay, but work fewer days per week. Weekend shift workers who were previously entitled to additional pay could only receive a bonus after working 40 hours a week. Also, new hires will pay more for health insurance than other employees.

“Our aim was and continues to be a bargain in good faith” Mondelez International said in a statement.“while also taking steps to modernize some elements of the contract that were written several decades ago.”

The strike began on August 10 in Portland, and workers in Aurora, Colo; Richmond, Va.; Chicago; and Norcross, Ga., most recently followed suit on Monday. The company said production continues with employees who are not under union jurisdiction.

Union members say they have been wronged as Mondelez International is making strong financial gains amid the pandemic. The company reported 12 percent revenue growth Compared to the previous year for the three months ending in June.

The workers also urged the company to “stop exporting our jobs to Mexico”. Some Oreo production shifted to Mexico A move in 2016 Criticized by Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate. Nabisco factories closed this year Fair Lawn, N.J., and Atlanta, but Mondelez said no jobs were sent to Mexico.

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