Kellogg's Workers Are Striking Against a "Two-Tiered" System of Workplace Inequality

A conversation with Dan Osborn, who has worked at the Omaha, Nebraska, plant for 18 years.

Maximillian Alvarez

Kellogg's Cereal plant workers and their families demonstrate in front of the plant on October 7, 2021 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Like Frito-Lay, Nabisco, John Deere, and Heaven Hill Distillery, cereal giant Kellogg’s has seen consumer demand skyrocket during the pandemic, reporting profits of $1.25 billion in 2020. To meet this demand, many workers in Kellogg’s plants around the US report pulling 12 to 16-hour shifts seven days a week, leaving little time for anything outside of work beyond sleep. But the creation of a two-tier employment system in 2015 has meant that newer employees in the lower transitional tier” are earning significantly less than their coworkers for doing the same work. Demanding that the company raise the floor for all of its employees, Kellogg’s plant workers in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have been on strike since Oct. 5. We talk about the ongoing strike with Dan Osborn, who has worked at the Omaha, Nebraska, plant for 18 years and currently serves as president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), Local 50G.

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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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