Workers at a Frito-Lay factory in Kansas have been on strike since July 5, protesting the forced overtime that has led to what they call "suicide squads" with few workers. time to sleep or see their family.
Hundreds of workers making Cheetos, Lays potato chips and other popular snack foods at a Frito-Lay factory in Topeka, Kan., have been on strike since July 5, protesting what they call "suicide squads" and other bad news.working conditions.
The workers, who are members of the International Union of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers, Local 218, said they were driven to burnout and the company refused to approach their co ncerns.
"This strike goes beyond wages and benefits," said Anthony Shelton, international president of the union, in a statement. "It's about the quality of life of these workers and their families. "
Mr. Shelton said that despite warnings to Frito-Lay management over the past decade, workers have been forced to work seven days a week, up to 12 hours per shift. Most of the plant's more than 800 workers, he said, had only had an eight-hour break betweenshifts, which left them little time to see family, run errands or get a good night's sleep.
Workers called these Double or triple shifts “suicide shifts” and blamed them for understaffing, which they said could easily be solved by Frito-Lay without hurting business results. Frito-Lay is a a significant increase in revenue in its beverage and snack business in the second quarter.
The giant of Food and Beverage, which is home of Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Doritos, said in July that its net sales in the quarter had jumped 20.5% to $ 19.2 billion compared to the previous yeare.
"The union has repeatedly called on the company to hire more workers, and yet, despite record profits, management de Frito-Lay refused this request, ”Mr. Shelton said.
As the strike continued on Thursday, both sides appeared to be working on a resolution.
Andy Sanchez, AFL-CIO executive secretary-treasurer of the state of Kansas, said he heard strikers on Thursday that the union had reached a "provisional agreement " w ith Frito-Lay which was scheduled for a members vote on Friday.
"It does not it remains to be seen whether or not it will pass, "he said.
A spokesperson for the bakery union, the confectionery, tobacco and millers declined to comment on Thursday.
Frito-Lay said Iudi in a statement he had spent the last three days jointly reviewing the terms of a previous offer and had "aligned with a new offer that will better address employee concerns about guaranteed days off and create additional opportunities for the union to participate in staffing and overtime. "
" It is important to note that the revised offer includes at new general pay increases for employees in all job categories, "the company said. “We believe this offer is the best address to address the issues raised by our employees, and we believe it represents a win-win situation for the union and Frito-Lay.
He said he could not publish the details of the offer, at the request of the union, but urged the workers to ratify the proposal so that 'they can return to the factory.
Frito-Lay also called the union the allegations about working hours at the factory "crudely exaggerated. ”
Of about 850 Topeka employees, only 20 worked an average of more than 60 hours per week, the company said. He said his records showed 19 employees worked 84 hours in a given work week this year, and 16 of them volunteered for overtime. Only three of the 19 had to work, the company said.
Frito-Lay employs more than 66,000 people, and the strike is the first in the world. One of its factories in three decades, according to the company.
About 850 manufacturing and warehouse workers who are part of the company. bargaining unit on strike, approximately 300 exercised their right tolegal right to continue working, the company said.
Hourly factory wages range from $ 18.35 to $ 36.91 per hour, depending on the company. Frito-Lay said his offer to the union on July 1 included a two-year contract with a 4 percent pay rise for all job classifications during the period.
Many workers, however, "wished they could do more " to protect employees from forced overtime and to raise wages, Sanchez said.
Union leaders have complained that workers arrive at the factory without proper training, which they say suggests the company is not taking the precautions safety seriously.
On the picket line, a striker held up signs indicating: "Hoursadditional forced = no family time ”and“ shareholders don't make tokens, employees do!
"Wages have been stagnant for a long, long time and it has gotten to the point where workers have just had enough," Sanchez said. "They have been pushed to the limit.