» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 129 | NO. 148 | Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mays Orders End To Kellogg Lock-Out

By Bill Dries

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Email reporter | Comments ()

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has ordered an end to the lock-out of union workers at the Memphis Kellogg plant.

In an order published Wednesday, July 30, Mays ruled the company was using “creative semantics” to force changes in a master agreement with employees, represented by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, while insisting they were changes to the program for “casual” employees that the company was free to make.

Mays ruled in a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board April 15 against Kellogg seeking a temporary injunction.

“Kellogg effectively demanded changes to the wage rates of new or rehired regular employees,” Mays wrote. “Those rates are set in the master agreement. The good-faith bargaining required by the (National Labor Relations) Act does not allow Kellogg to use creative semantics to force midterm changes in the wages of new or rehired regular employees in violation of the master agreement.”

The lock-out began Oct. 22 with workers losing pay and insurance benefits. It came a day after the union’s attorney notified the plant manager that it had rejected a last best offer from Kellogg insisting the company had breached the master agreement with the union.

The company was seeking to classify casual employees as regular employees at a rate of pay $6- an-hour lower than regular employees with no benefits for the casuals and possibly replace regular employees with the casuals, since there would be no cap on the number of casuals, or lay off the regular employees and hire them back at lower pay as casuals.

In granting the request for an injunction and ordering an end to the lock-out, Mays cited the nine-month duration of the action.

“The administrative process may continue for many months and even years to come,” Mays wrote. “To allow the lockout to continue through that period would place significant hardship on employees in furtherance of Kellogg’s bargaining position, which petitioner has reasonable cause to believe is unlawful. That would undermine the remedial powers of the board.”

Kellogg has five days from the order to offer full and immediate interim reinstatement to every employee locked out. The reinstatement is at terms and conditions in effect when the lock out began or “substantially equivalent” positions if the positions no longer exist.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 81 301 17,656
MORTGAGES 101 347 22,998
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 38 76 4,504
BUILDING PERMITS 208 722 41,947
BANKRUPTCIES 61 237 16,629
BUSINESS LICENSES 11 61 5,762
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 60 256 25,125
MARRIAGE LICENSES 14 80 5,365

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.