“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx
Jan 3, 2022
On December 21, Kellogg workers decided to ratify a new contract after being out on strike for over two months. It is not yet clear what this new contract will mean for them in the future. But what is very clear is that the Kellogg workers made a very determined fight.
Kellogg workers were among those millions of “essential” workers who kept producing, while many things were shut down during the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Kellogg workers were often forced to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. For all that, they were facing a corporation that wanted to continue to enforce concessions on the workers. When the Kellogg workers went on strike to stop concessions, the company threatened to replace them all.
But the Kellogg workers voted down two tentative contracts, one to go on strike and one to continue their strike, and they managed to back the company off on some of the demands.
The main issue that the Kellogg workers were fighting for was to end the 2-tier system of wages and benefits. While their new contract made some changes, it certainly did not get rid of 2-tier. But the fact that Kellogg workers were ready to make a fight over 2-tier is important. Corporations have imposed 2-tier systems to force younger workers to work for less, while also bringing down the standard of living of all workers.
Millions of other workers in all kinds of factories and workplaces are facing these same attacks. The Kellogg workers faced a difficult fight. They are just 1,400 workers total, working in 4 different plants, in 4 different states. But the determination shown by the Kellogg workers shows the way forward for a much larger fight, by many more workers.