Kansas Frito-Lay workers ratify contract and end strike

Hundreds of Frito-Lay employees ratified the deal on Saturday, ending forced overtime and a lengthy, nearly three-week strike that many workers said they had overwhelmed their fatigue, union officials said. rice field.

The deal, ratified by a vote that union officials said was near, puts an end to what workers at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas call a “suicide shift.” There is an 8-hour break in between.

“The result of this strike was a testament to the tenacity and grit of Topeka’s Frito-Lay workers,” said Anthony Shelton, International President of the United Nations for Bakeries, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Mirrors on behalf of its member employees. Says. Said in a statement of Local 218.

Local 218 workers said the company went on strike because it refused to address concerns about the shift. They said they took time with their families and didn’t even give them enough time to sleep all night.

Workers said Frito-Lay could easily cope with severe changes without compromising the company’s bottom line. Frito-Lay is a division of PepsiCo and recently Significant increase in revenue In the beverage and snack business.

Paul Krem, chief shop steward, who has worked at the Topeka factory for nine years, said he used to work for three consecutive months without holidays.

“I missed a lot of time with my kids when I was in high school because of the shift I was working on and the time I was working,” he said. “It’s physically exhausted.”

Mr. Krem said the new contract would guarantee workers one day off a week and eliminate forcing workers to take it. “Suicide shifts” and raises wages. He refused to provide accurate numbers because he said he was not authorized to provide that information. International Trade Union Confederation spokeswoman Corina Kristensen did not provide details of the agreement or describe how members voted.

In a statement, Frito-Lay said the new two-year contract would include a 4% wage increase for all occupations and “an additional opportunity for unions to input staffing and overtime.”

The company believes that the approach to resolving strikes “shows a way to listen to employees and if concerns are raised, they will be taken seriously and dealt with.” rice field.

Mr. Krem said he wanted to see the wages of his employees go up even more. In some sectors, he said, there have been no salary increases of more than 20-40 cents in the last 6-8 years.

“I think it was better, but I think people’s vacations are worth it,” Krem said.

Food and beverage giants, home to Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Doritos, said this month their quarterly net sales reached $ 19.2 billion, up 20.5% year-on-year.

Shelton said more than 600 members have picketed and marched in the last 20 days.

“We have shown to the world that union workers can stand up to the world’s largest food companies and claim victory for themselves, their families and their communities,” said a worker at the Topika factory.

The company sought to push back union dissatisfaction with the long shift.

Of the approximately 850 employees at Topeka, only 20 are said to have averaged more than 60 hours a week.

According to company records, 19 employees worked 84 hours a particular week this year, 16 of whom volunteered to work overtime. According to the company, only three out of nineteen had to work.

The company also said it continues to hire new part-time and full-time workers at Topeka. The factory employed 263 people last year and 209 this year.

Frito-Lay employs more than 66,000 people, and according to the company, the strike is one of the first factories in 30 years.

This was the first time a worker at a Topika factory had gone on strike, Mr. Krem said.

Of the approximately 850 manufacturing and warehouse employees that are part of the strike negotiation unit, approximately 300 continued to work throughout the strike, the company said.

According to the company, hourly wages at the factory range from $ 18.35 to $ 36.91 per hour. Frito-Lay said its first offer to the union on July 1 required a two-year contract with a 4% wage increase for all occupations during the period.

Kansas Frito-Lay workers ratify contract and end strike

Source link Kansas Frito-Lay workers ratify contract and end strike

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