OMAHA, Neb. — Contract talks between the Kellogg Co. and its 1,400 striking cereal plant workers are set to resume next week.
The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said Tuesday that the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that represents those workers agreed to return to the bargaining table starting next Tuesday.
The workers have been on strike since Oct. 5. The strike includes four plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.
About 1,400 employees walked out in a dispute centered on the company's proposal for a two-tiered system which would give newer workers lower pay and fewer benefits.
Meanwhile, Tennessee State Representative Joe Towns showed his support to the Kellogg workers as the strike here in Memphis entered week four. Tuesday, Representative Towns and Democratic caucus members joined workers at the Memphis Kellogg's plant to stand up for workers' rights.
"As far as I'm concerned, their demands are just simple demands. They want to be treated fairly. Who wouldn't want to be treated fairly? Who would want to be exploited and used unfairly? Who would? No one does,” said Rep. Towns. “You are going to start people off a third, off the wages, less than what they are already making. It makes no sense… People in this county are sick of it and they need to recognize. Kellogg's needs to recognize that there are millions of people walking off jobs today because they are being treated unfairly."
In 2015, a deal was reached, but the union said it was pressured into taking it after the Memphis plant was locked out in 2013 for ten months.
The company has said it's not clear how the strike will affect supplies of Rice Krispies and its other cereal brands because it has restarted production with salaried employees and outside workers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.