Prepare Yourself, An Oreo Cookie Shortage May Be Coming. Here’s Why.

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The beloved Oreo cookie alongside a few other snacks might be added to the list of food shortages.

Nabisco workers in five states are currently on strike.

Employees are striking for change at five U.S. Nabisco bakeries that make Oreos, Chips Ahoy cookies, Ritz Crackers and other popular snacks.

The walkout which started earlier this month at a biscuit bakery in Portland, Oregon has since increased to about 1,000 workers in Aurora, Colorado, Richmond, Virginia, Chicago and a distribution center in Norcross, Georgia who are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM).

Nabisco’s Chicago-based parent Mondeléz International, continues to produce snacks with nonunion staff even when three out of the four bakeries in the United States have been affected by the strike.

All of the unionized workers in all five states are governed by one contract which expired in May.

Union leaders say Nabisco is trying to squeeze more hours out of its staff while paying less overtime, and restore pensions which were replaced by a 401(k) plan three years ago.

Courtesy of @froggneal

Other raising concerns are due to two recent factory closures in Georgia and New Jersey, which the union says is because of a broader campaign to move low-wage work to Mexico which Mondeléz denies.

The company says it’s considering adding several new U.S. projects and possible expansions in Richmond, Virginia and Portland, Oregon, as well as the possibility of “repatriating” a Ritz sandwich cracker line to Chicago, according to informational materials released by the company.

Courtesy of @laborradionet

Workers “are telling Nabisco to put an end to the outsourcing of jobs to Mexico and get off the ridiculous demand for contract concessions at a time when the company is making record profits,” BCTGM President Anthony Shelton said in a statement.

Anthony Shelton
Courtesy of @BCTGM

Mondeléz says they have negotiated in good faith but the offers were turned down by union workers, according to a company statement.

The company says they are moving some workers off the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule to a 12-hour workday because the company thinks that 9-to-5 is no longer sufficient given the abnormally high demand for their products.

Courtesy of @citizenactionny

“Our goal has been — and continues to be — to bargain in good faith with the BCTGM leadership across our U.S. bakeries and sales distribution facilities to reach new contracts that continue to provide our employees with good wages and competitive benefits, including quality, affordable health care, and company-sponsored Enhanced Thrift Investment 401(k) Plans, while also taking steps to modernize some contract aspects which were written several decades ago,” the company said in a statement.

Mondeléz International
Courtesy of @bctgm

The strikes come at a time where high demand is causing companies like Mondeléz to change production, but many factory workers say they’re being squeezed for profits.

Courtesy of @bctgm

“This fight is about maintaining what we already have,” Mike Burlingham, vice president of BCTGM Local 364 in Portland, told TODAY. “During the pandemic, we all were putting in a lot of hours, demand was higher, people were at home, and the snack food industry did phenomenally well.

Mike Burlingham
Courtesy of @bctgm

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One Comment

  1. I stand with the workers!! No contract no snacks!!

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