The IUF-affiliated BCTGM has stepped up its fight against mass layoffs at the Mondelez Chicago biscuit factory by filing grievances and a federal lawsuit charging that the layoffs are discriminatory and violate the collective agreement because the vast majority of the plant workers are over 40-years old and from minority communities.
Mondelez has now given official notice of its intent to eliminate a first batch of 277 union jobs of an eventual 600 following transfer of certain lines’ production to Mexico.
The union has also formally charged management with inserting non-union contract workers into the bargaining unit in order to weaken union bargaining power.
Last May, Mondelez told the union it would invest in new lines in North America but had not, it claimed, decided whether the investment would go to Salinas in Mexico or to Chicago. Mondelez told BCTGM representatives the 600 union jobs in Chicago would be eliminated if the new lines were installed in Mexico, and that even if Chicago BCTGM members agreed to USD 46 million in annual savings the company would still eliminate 255 of their jobs.
The union rejected this cynical proposal, and is contesting the layoffs as it prepares for difficult national contract negotiations this year.
A number of IUF affiliates have agreed to a Mondelez global solidarity statement (click here), which the IUF urges affiliates to distribute widely.