The following is a message from the Mondelēz /Nabisco bargaining table from International Vice President Jethro Head, Union Chairman:
Brothers and Sisters:
Last night at 10:45 p.m., Mondelēz representative Pam DiStefano emailed the BCTGM Bargaining Team the company’s “last, best and final” offer. It is an unacceptable proposal that has as its centerpiece the elimination of our members’ defined pension. The company is demanding that the pension be replaced with an extremely risky and unreliable “savings account”.
For many decades, our members have fought for and sacrificed to build and strengthen our pension plan because it is the most proven and reliable vehicle to ensure that our members can retire in dignity and financial security following a very physically demanding career. They fought and sacrificed not only for themselves, but for those who would come after them because we know that our members’ jobs will always be hard.
Given the broad economic challenges facing this country’s industrial workers, today’s younger workers likely will rely on the defined benefit plan for financial security when they retire as much, if not more, than even their predecessors.
We have proven to the company through the presentation of multiple scholarly studies, indisputable data and comprehensive and impeccable research, that well-managed defined benefit plans such as the B&C Fund are far superior to so-called “savings plans” in ensuring retirement security.
While the company is demanding the elimination of the pension plan, something which would severely undermine our members’ retirement security, Mondelēz CEO Irene Rosenfeld has pension plans worth $35 million. Apparently, a pension is good enough for Irene Rosenfeld but no longer good enough for our members.
The BCTGM bargaining team finds it deeply disrespectful of our members, retirees and this Union for the company to propose the elimination of the pension. The BCTGM has never and will never tolerate disrespect of our members or this Union!
The company also is demanding a dramatic downgrading in our members’ health insurance plans. As with our pension plans, our members have sacrificed for decades to ensure quality health insurance for themselves and their families. The company’s 90-10 proposal will add huge new health care costs and financial burdens for our members, regardless of age or seniority.
Also, the company’s “final” proposal thoroughly disregards our legitimate job security proposals that would repatriate outsourced work as well as save the jobs of hundreds of our Chicago Brothers and Sisters; jobs which this company wants to give to their Mexican employees.
Regarding the schedule for bargaining, please be advised that we made it clear to the company representatives that we were prepared to meet through the night and told them we would be there through Monday, February 29.
Even before the company emailed us their “final”, we offered to begin bargaining again the week of March 7, to which they responded that this was a time frame that “may work” for them.
As of this report, the Union stands willing to meet with the Company at any time.
I want to assure you that our bargaining team is strong, confident of our position and resolute in our commitment to securing a quality contract for our members; a contract that is in the very best interests of our members and their families today and into the future. That is our only goal!
Stay strong! Remain unified. Keep in mind, parties not interested in working families’ interests will be assessing your resolve to fight their greed and attempts to undermine the economic security of your family. Make clear to them that you have no intention of letting them take away all that you have worked for and earned over the years.
Your resolve and the message of solidarity and strength you send to management every day while on the job is critical to the overall success of this bargaining process.
I will continue to update you moving forward.
BCTGM International Vice President Jethro Head