Brothers and Sisters,
We have reached a crossroads in the negotiations with Mondelēz here in Charlotte. While there are issues that still can be addressed in order to achieve a positive outcome for you and your families, the Company’s insistence on abandoning your pension in exchange for a “savings account” upon retirement and their use of our member’s jobs in Chicago as leverage in these negotiations are deal-breakers. We must take a stand to protect your jobs today from outsourcing and provide true retirement security when your days of work are behind you.
While anything can happen between now and the expiration of the contract on February 29, at this point in time I do not have a positive forecast based on the position the Company has taken regarding the job security and retirement security for workers who have dedicated their lives to the production of their iconic products. Therefore, as of this morning, the entire local bargaining committee from each local has been sent home to prepare for what may well amount to drawing the line on this Company’s total disregard for you and your family’s future. It is my hope that these issues can be resolved before the expiration of the contract. However, the Company’s proposed “savings plan of the future” that they want to replace your B&C Pension with while asking you to trust them to provide you and your family with meaningful job security are not elements that provide a path to settlement.
Brothers and sisters, let there be no doubt that the moves this company is making at bargaining here in Charlotte are being engineered by those at the very top of this corporation by people who do not live in the communities in which you live. These people have never struggled for anything in their lives. They make millions of dollars-per-year, have the best healthcare in the world, enjoy employment contracts that secure their employment, have pension plans that can sustain themselves and their families for generations and reap the benefits of buy outs worth tens of millions of dollars when they go out the door –even if they are terminated for doing a bad job.
Your families deserve an appropriate portion of the wealth you have helped create for this company in the work you do every day. You deserve it in your working years and you deserve it in your retirement. We cannot let these corporate elite continue to demand more from you and your families as they continue to amass additional wealth from what they demand of you.
Your bargaining committee members that are returning home today will be met by BCTGM International Representatives who will assist your leaders in preparing for what may well be the inevitable next week. We always hold out hope, but we will not be less than fully prepared for what we may be required to do in order to preserve your work and protect your retirement. Keep the faith, but prepare to fight for your family’s future if called upon to do so.
The Company will try to intimidate you and try to convince you that their plans for you are in your best interest. They will try to get your supervisors to test your resolve and report back to them your commitment to the fight. Just let them know that if the corporate elite of Mondelēz/Nabisco have job security and a secure retirement, then your family deserves the same. Your family is worth fighting for!
I will continue to update you in the days ahead.
BCTGM International Vice President Jethro Head