MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There’s a new twist in the lockout of Kellog employees off the job for ten months.
Thursday, the company said it had a change of heart and was re-evaluating the plan to bring employees back to work. Friday afternoon, there was another change of heart.
The sidewalk outside Kellogg’s on Airways is bare. There are no protesting employees, no signs. and no honks of supportive drivers passing by. All signs of the protested lock-out are stashed inside a dark union office.
Union leaders say this stuff has been here since last week when a federal judge ordered employees back to work because the lock-out wasn’t legal.
“Their statement the other night was they were reevaluating it so I never heard they said that they weren’t but this morning it’s clear that they plan to go by the process that we went through last week,” said Ron Baker, BCTGM Union
Here’s why Kellogg almost decided to continue the lockout. An administrative law judge ruled yesterday Kellogg was justified in locking out employees after they couldn’t reach a contract with the union that represents them.
However, a statement from company spokesperson late Friday indicted they were going to follow the federal judge’s order.
Kris Charles with Kellogg said “While we are pleased with the judge’s decision and validation of our legal position, for now our key focus needs to be on bringing our Memphis employees back to work.”
BCTGM Union reps were always following the federal judges original order. They didn’t put much stock in the administrative law judge’s decision.
Baker said, “We fully believe that the general counsel of the NLRB as well as the board in Washington, DC will definitely take great exception to the ALJ’s decision. Quite frankly, he missed the mark on about all counts.”
The plan is for Kellogg employees to report to the Fogelman Center at the University of Memphis Monday for training and to set up health care benefits. Tuesday they’ll be back on the job at Kellogg’s.