• July 15, 2021

‘We don’t feel respected,’ Frito-Lay workers say as they strike over wages and long hours

Instead of hourly raises, recent contracts have offered workers flat-rate bonuses, Labor Notes reports, with wages that barely go up for many workers. Box drop technician Monk Drapeaux-Stewart said Labor Notes his salary had gone up just 77 cents in 12 years.

The milk has risen. The meat has risen. Everything has gone up ”, another worker who has been at Frito-Lay for 30 years told KCUR. “But our salaries have stayed the same.”

The company complains that it thought it had a deal with the union, only to find that the workers weren’t ready to settle for what their leaders wanted them to accept. “MEEach member of the union’s bargaining committee, including the union president, individually pledged to support the agreement and encourage Frito-Lay employees to vote in favor of ratifying it, ”Frito-Lay said in an emailed statement. to Food and wine. And management says it will not budge, “Because the union fully recommended our tentative agreement, we do not anticipate further negotiations with the union in the foreseeable future.”

What Frito-Lay doesn’t understand is that the workers They are the union, and the workers rejected the deal and then approved a strike, 353 to 30. An estimated 80% of the workers at the plant are on strike. The deal they rejected would have offered a 2% raise – just 50 cents an hour for many of them – and would not have guaranteed anything close to reasonable hours for workers exhausted by outrageous amounts of forced overtime.

Frito-Lay’s stagnant wages and long hours, workers say, in part because the plant has been unable to retain new hires, are reaching a crisis as the company lags behind other employers who move. to the Topeka area.

Fifteen, 20 years ago, Frito-Lay had a really good reputation; all you need is a high school diploma and you have this job with good pay and benefits, “said Drapeaux-Stewart. Labor Notes. “But little by little all that has been reduced.” Meanwhile, Frito-Lay made a profit of $ 5.3 billion last year.

As Andrew told Christopher Reeves, “It is time for a change and it is time for you to do something for these people. It’s time they gave them a little more of the respect they deserve, which they have frankly earned over the last decade. “

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