“The food products we buy in the middle aisles of the supermarket are even more obscured from their real costs than vegetables and meat. American companies have engaged in the same union busting, outsourcing, and subcontracting in processed food as in apparel or toys. These workers are subjected to the same problems of poisoning, poor conditions, and capital mobility as workers in every other industry. In 2013, Kellogg’s locked out its majority black workforce at a Memphis factory that makes Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes in order to crush the union, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 252G. The company recently moved 58 million pounds of cereal production from Memphis to a new factory in Mexico where workers are required to live in company housing. It then hired a union-busting agency in Ohio to bring in scab laborers to Memphis. This one action is part of a larger move by Kellogg’s to eliminate most of its American factories and all of its unions. The company has recently closed union plants in Australia and Canada, shifting production to nonunion sites. In July 2014, a federal judge ordered an end to the lockout and the workers returned to the job, but the long-term outlook for the union members keeping their jobs does not look promising.”
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