Striking Frito Lay Workers Say They Deserve More Than Crumbs

Worker Cheri Renfro speaks out from Topeka, Kansas, where Frito Lay workers have been on strike since July 5.

Maximillian Alvarez

Justice for Frito Lay/Facebook

Hundreds of workers at the Frito Lay manufacturing and distribution plant in Topeka, Kansas, have been on strike since July 5. Workers at Frito Lay have endured years of disrespect and many at the plant have seen their wages stagnate and fall behind other employers in the area. On top of that, workers have been caught in a horrible cycle that was greatly exacerbated by COVID 19: While more people were staying home during the pandemic and eating a lot more chips, the incredibly high turnover at Frito-Lay has meant that folks who have stayed on have been forced to work longer hours, with some pulling 12-hour shifts seven days a week for weeks on end. In this urgent episode, we talk with Cheri Renfro, who has worked at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka for 9 years and is currently on strike.

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Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.

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