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BCTGM Obtains Injunction In Federal District Court Requiring Kellogg Company To End 10-Month Lockout of Workers; Union Seeking Back Pay for Workers

August 7, 2014

On August 7, 2014, the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union and Local 252-G of that Union, together with the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, obtained an injunction under § 10(j) of the NLRA in the Federal District Court in Memphis Tennessee requiring Kellogg Company to end its 10-month lockout of 220 workers at its Memphis, Tennessee ready to eat cereal plant.

Kellogg locked out its workers after insisting to impasse over a new collective-bargaining agreement containing terms that would permit Kellogg to reduce its labor costs through a system in which it could eventually replace all of its regular employees with lower-wage “casual employees,” and also impose its own schedules. The Union claimed that Kellogg’s proposals sought to modify subjects that were settled by a contract that remained in force until late 2015 and that the lockout was an unlawful attempt to coerce the Unions into acquiescing in terms that they had no obligation to bargain over. The injunction proceeding was part of, and arose from, unfair labor practice charges filed by the Unions with the NLRB asserting that the by locking out its workers over these proposals, Kellogg violated §§ 8(a)(1), (3) and (5) of the Act. The ULP charges have been tried to an ALJ and are awaiting final resolution by the Board. Since the employees are back at work as a result of the injunction, what is at stake now is back pay for the workers for the 10 months they were locked out – an amount that could be in excess of $15 million. Bredhoff & Kaiser has represented the unions throughout the proceedings in both the District Court and NLRB, and has represented the BCTGM since 1957.