August 3, 2015
By John Quinn, LaborPress USA
Kensington, Md – Mondelēz International has chosen to make a $130 million capital investment in new production lines at its Salinas, Mexico plant rather than in the company's Chicago bakery. This is yet another example of this $35 billion multinational corporation's callous disregard for the City of Chicago and the hardworking, tax paying local men and women who for decades have loyally produced the high-quality, iconic baked goods that made this company so financially successful.
Officials of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) were informed by Mondelēz that as part of its investment, the company will install four new lines at its Mexico plant, replacing nine production lines at its historic Chicago facility, where approximately 1,000 workers are represented by BCTGM Local 300. The Chicago plant, which dates to the 1950s, is the company's largest U.S. bakery. Union members operate all of the bakery's 16 lines producing such iconic brands as Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, Honey Maid, belVita, Premium, Ritz and Wheat Thins.
In responding to the company's announcement, BCTGM International Vice President and lifelong Chicago resident, Jethro Head, said, "The announcement by Mondelēz is not a surprise and validates exactly what the BCTGM said when we met with its representatives in May − that the company had already decided that it was going to put the new production lines in Mexico. "We knew this because they came to the table with no legitimate, comprehensive proposal for us to review and no detailed production and financial data for us to analyze, all of which is essential for our Union and members to make a responsible and well-informed assessment and decision."
On July 21st, the company confirmed to the Union the basic economic assessment that labor is cheaper for the company outside the USA. Unfortunately the Congressional trade agreements make it easy for businesses to leave the United States and export jobs out of our country. Vice President Head concludes, "Mondelēz may be headquartered 30 miles from the Nabisco Bakery on South Kedzie Avenue, but, sadly, this company's genuine commitment to our community and our citizens is well in the past."
The BCTGM represents approximately 4,000 Mondelēz workers in manufacturing facilities, flour mills and distribution centers across North America.