MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kellogg’s workers who picketed for months aren’t done yet. Many headed to the local EEOC office Thursday.
“Kellogg’s has repeatedly lied to the public,” said Local 252G Union President Kevin Bradshaw as he read from a written statement Thursday.
Bradshaw is with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.
Outside the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Kellogg’s workers collected more than 100 EEOC complaints against the company they say refused to negotiate with them and locked them out of work.
“We bring charges of race discrimination against Kellogg’s in their planning as well as their tactics in this Memphis bargaining unit,” said Bradshaw.
Union leaders say the timing of the EEOC filing just happens to be the day after a judge ended the work stand-off that started in October, when Kellogg’s attempted to implement a new pay scale and work schedule.
The workers challenged it and were locked out.
Wednesday, a judge sided with the employees and ordered the company to let them back into the plant.
Now the union says Kellogg’s actions were racial.
“It has become clear that the predominantly black workforce here in Memphis has a rare distinction with the Kellogg’s company. It is the place they have decided to treat most miserable and most brutally based upon its predominantly minority demographics,” said Bradshaw.
Kellogg’s worker Gerald Lewis went into the EEOC Office with discrimination complaint in hand. He says he hasn’t had a paycheck in ten months.
“My credit is ruined. I am close to losing everything that I have,” said Lewis.
After the judge’s ruling, Kellogg’s said it looked forward to the employees returning to work, but litigation would continue.
The judge order calls for those workers to be back on the job in five days.
We contacted Kellogg’s about the discrimination claims. They deny that race played a factor in the work stoppage.
Despite the court order, workers were still lining the picket line today, saying they will stay put until Kellogg’s complies. The judge’s order did not address back pay for the workers. Another court is hearing that issue.