Over 1,000 Nabisco bakery workers are on strike over 12-hour shifts: 'We're prepared to be out there for as long as it takes'

Over 1,000 Nabisco bakery workers are striking across the US in protest against contract negotiations.
The contract proposals also include a push for schedule changes to 12-hour shifts.

Insider was told by a union representative that they are willing to stay there as long as necessary.

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Strike at Nabisco bakeries in the US has prompted over 1,000 workers to go on strike.

Nabisco workers unionized with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union started striking over what they claim are contract issues with Mondelez International, Nabisco’s parent company. They are currently engaged in contract negotiations.

One issue is the proposed "Alternative Work Schedule", which would see workers working 12 hours per day, three to four days a semaine. Workers would then start receiving overtime premiums after they have worked 40 hours. Lauren Kaori Gurley, Vice's vice-president, reports that many workers worked 12- and 16 hour shifts during the pandemic. Workers are also worried about possible changes in healthcare plans.

Portland workers went on strike August 10. TODAY reports that around 200 workers started striking there. Since then, they've been joined by workers from Virginia, Colorado and Illinois.

"We are not striking to meet huge demands. "We're not striking for huge demands. We're striking in order to keep what we have," Cameron Taylor, an agent for BCTGM Local 324, told Insider. Anthony Shelton, the president of BCTGM International, expressed concern that jobs might be transferred to Mexico after recent plant closures. However, a spokesperson for Nabisco told Insider that it was inaccurate to claim that jobs from closed plants have moved to Mexico.

A spokesperson stated that "small numbers of high-demand lines where business needs are 24/7" would need 12-hour shifts, three or four days a week, with "opportunity to overtime." Insider was referred to an FAQ sheet that said similar.

Mondelez International stated that they were disappointed by the decision of local BCTGM unions to strike at their Portland (OR), Richmond(VA) and Chicago-IL bakeries, and our Aurora (CO and Addison) sales distribution facilities. "Our goal was and remains to negotiate in good faith with BCTGM leaders across our U.S. bakery and sales distribution facilities in order to achieve new contracts.

Mike Burlingham, a Portland bakery worker and vice president of the local said that although the strike was a new one for many workers, it had been growing for some time.

"Strikes are happening more often across the country right now. Burlingham stated that everyone is at a boiling point. "The American middle classes is currently at war. We are trying to save American jobs. We are trying to save America's middle class.

Frito-Lay workers went into strike in July for 20 days. After reaching a deal that included increased wages and at least one week off, they ended their strike.

Taylor and Burlingham both said that the strike response has been overwhelming. Even Danny DeVito, actor, has supported the strikes as has Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Taylor stated that there is a constant barrage of horns as they strike. Burlingham also noted the number of people who have attended rallies.

"It's at the point where I believe people are paying attention. Burlingham stated that they are saying enough is enough. Taylor stated that they are prepared to strike until the company accepts their proposals.

Taylor stated, "We're ready to be out there as long as it takes,"