February 22, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL- With massive layoffs looming over the bakery that makes Oreos, contract talks began Feb. 16 between Mondelez International, the global snack corporation that owns it, and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, the largest union there.
Mondelez announced plans last summer to lay off 600 of the 1,200 workers at the Nabisco plant on Chicago’s Southwest Side and move the work to its new facility in Salinas, Mexico. “We expect Salinas to increasingly contribute to further [profit] margin expansion in North America," chief financial officer Brian Gladden said Feb. 16. The two other unions at the plant, the International Association of Machinists and the International Union of Operating Engineers, have worked out layoff terms with Mondelez, but the bakers’ union, which represents most of the workers slated for the ax, has refused to negotiate. It says the layoffs discriminate against a workforce that’s mostly black, Latino, and over 40, and has filed a lawsuit and a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contracts covering Chicago and seven other Mondelez plants expire Feb. 29. Read more