Although we're well aware that Frosted Flakes aren't good — they are, in fact, great — the famous cereal's parent company is currently in some serious hot water. Employees from four of the food giant's production plants are on strike, and even the most avid cereal fans are boycotting the brand as we speak. If you aren't currently in the loop, though, you may be wondering why people are even boycotting Kellogg's in the first place.
In short, it's a labor-related issue, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) president, Anthony Shelton, explained to CNN Business.
"For more than a year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellogg workers around the country have been working long, hard hours, day in and day out, to produce Kellogg ready-to-eat cereals for American families," he explained.
"Kellogg's response to these loyal, hardworking employees has been to demand these workers give up quality health care, retirement benefits, and holiday and vacation pay. The company continues to threaten to send additional jobs to Mexico if workers do not accept outrageous proposals that take away protections that workers have had for decades."
Why are people boycotting Kellogg's?
People are boycotting Kellogg's to stand in solidarity with the company's employees, according to AP News. Around 1,400 employees from four of the companies plants, located in Omaha, Neb.; Battle Creek, Mich.; Lancaster, Penn.; and Memphis, Tenn.; are currently striking, after being involved in a year-long dispute regarding pay and benefit-related issues. Kellogg's had reportedly taken away employee's premium health care, holiday pay, and vacation pay, and reduced retirement benefits.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, some employees have had to work 12-hour shifts everyday of the week to keep up with production, but they have yet to receive overtime. Meanwhile, though executive level employees apparently received significant bonuses during that time.
"I’d like to highlight executive level compensation, and the bonuses [executives] received during the pandemic," stated Kellogg employee and union president, Trevor Bidelman, as per Metro Times.
"All of that was made possible because we worked seven days a week 16-hours a day. Now with their greed, they want to thank us by cutting our jobs and making our future workforce have less than what our current workforce does," he continued.
BCTGM has spoken up against this unrighteousness, which is why employees decided to walk out of their workspaces on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and why consumers have decided to boycott the Fortune 500 company this week. Check out what boycotters are saying on Twitter.
The company is now trying to move additional jobs to Mexico.
Instead of responding to the labor disputes by compensating employees with fair wages and benefits, Kellogg's has decided to float the prospect of moving certain positions to Mexico. But why would they do this, and why is this such a big deal?
According to Newsweek, if the company the FDA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration is unable to monitor production and labor.
"A lot of Americans probably don't have too much issue with the Nike or Under Armor hats being made elsewhere or even our vehicles, but when they start manufacturing our food down where they are out of the FDA's control and OSHA's control, I have a huge problem with that," Daniel Osborn, a local union president in Omaha, told Newsweek.
Hopefully this problem will be solved sooner rather than later — though it seems as though it may be a while before we buy another box of Rice Krispies.