Workers strike back
The pace of strikes slowed when the pandemic hit. Now there are signs picket lines are bouncing back amid fresh worker angst.
- What's new: Production has been halted at Kellogg cereal plants across America after 1,400 workers walked off the job in a bid for better benefits (and worries about job outsourcing).
- The last time a cereal workers strike hit the company was nearly 50 years ago.
Also this week: Hollywood production workers signed off to authorize a strike over better labor conditions and higher pay.
- There's no strike now, but the move — the first in its 128-year history — means they can call one at any time.
The big picture: Workers are harder to come by, possibly giving employees more leverage for demands. That could be one reason why strikes are well below pre-pandemic levels.
- Still, employers aren't bending all the way, causing enough of a stalemate for strikes in the first place.
What to watch: From Hollywood studios to factories, the work stoppages could threaten America’s recovery — already plagued by a shortage of stuff.
- "My guess is Kellogg will try to bring in outside workers to start some of our lines up to keep food in their network," says Daniel Osborn, a maintenance planner at Kellogg's Omaha, Nebraska, plant, adding that might be difficult for the company. (That worker shortage again.)
- Osborn is the local head of the national union behind the weekslong strike at Nabisco factoriesthat ended last month.