TO: AFL-CIO Executive Council Members
National and International Union Presidents
Trade and Industrial Departments
General Board Representatives
AFL-CIO State Federations and Central Labor Councils
FROM: Elizabeth H. Shuler
DATE: May 3, 2016
RE: AFL-CIO endorsement of BCTGM’s boycott of “Made in Mexico” Mondelez International snack foods
The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) boycott of the snack food items of Mondelez International (“Mondelez,” “Mondelez/Nabisco”) that are made in Mexico.
The boycott is being conducted because Mondelez is shifting work from U.S. production facilities, most recently in Chicago, IL, to a facility in Salinas Victoria, Mexico.
Shortly after the Salinas Victoria facility went online in 2015, Mondelez approached BCTGM Local 300 (Chicago) seeking $46 million in annual concessions to secure an investment of $130 million into the Chicago plant. The concessions would have meant an approximately 60% reduction in pay and benefits for the 1,000 workers in Chicago, decimating fifty years of collective bargaining gains. The members refused.
In July 2015, Mondelez announced it would be investing the $130 million in the Salinas Victoria plant to construct several more lines. It also announced that it would eliminate 600 jobs at its plant in Chicago as it transferred production to Salinas Victoria.
That same year, the CEO of Mondelez received over $19 million in total compensation.
The BCTGM’s “check the label” campaign is designed to educate the public about Mondelez transfer of jobs to Mexico and to urge consumers to not buy Mondelez/Nabisco snack food products that are made in Mexico, http://www.fightforamericanjobs.org/check-the-label/.
It is very important to emphasize that the BCTGM is only asking the public to avoid Mondelez/Nabisco brand products that are “Made in Mexico.” This includes Oreos, Newtons, Chips Ahoy, Honey Grahams, Animal Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Premium, Belvita, Lorna Doone, Teddy Grahams, Honey Maid, and Wheat Thins.
Nabisco snacks are still produced at Nabisco bakeries in the United States. Check the label to be sure the Nabisco products you buy are NOT being produced in Mexico.
The latest boycott information can always be found on AFL-CIO’s website http://www.aflcio.org/Get-Involved/AFL-CIO-Endorsed-Boycotts and the Union Label and Service Trades website, www.unionlabel.org.
cc: AFL-CIO headquarters and field staff
The AFL-CIO has announced its endorsement of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union’s boycott of Mexican made Nabisco products as a result of the company’s decision to move hundreds of Chicago jobs to a plant in Mexico.
BCTGM, which represents about 4,000 workers at Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, launched its Check the Label campaign earlier this year to push back against the company’s outsourcing of American jobs.
The April 25, 2016 letter issued by Liz Schuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer is printed below.
The AFL-CIO has approved your request to include Mondelez International on the list of AFL-CIO national boycotts. Specifically, the boycott will apply to all Mondelez International snack food products that are labeled ‘Made in Mexico,’ including Oreos, Newtons, Chips Ahoy, Honey Grahams, Animal Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Premium, Belvita, Lorna Doane, Teddy Grahams, Honey Maid, and Wheat Thins. In accordance with the policy on boycott endorsements adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the federation will maintain the “Made in Mexico” snack products of Mondelez International on its published boycott list for up to one year from the date of endorsement unless your union requests an earlier termination of the listing. At the end of the year, you may request to have the company included on the list for another 12 months.
The AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department will post this product line to the list on their websites and Union Label Letter publication.
A pdf of the letter from Secretary-Treasurer Schuler can be downloaded here.
Durkee_BCTGM-Boycott-Letter-003.pdf (337 downloads)
PRESS RELEASE : from The Union Label & Service Trades Department (AFL-CIO)
815 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Richard Kline, President (202) 508-3700
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 10, 2010
Contact: Jim Spellane (IBEW) (202) 728-6014
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sinclair Broadcasting has been added to the AFL-CIO boycott list at the request of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Sinclair owns or operates 56 television stations in 31 markets.
The action follows a breakdown in contract negotiations for a successor agreement between Sinclair and IBEW Local 1837 starting last February when the company imposed terms on 40 employees at Portland, Maine Station WGME. The IBEW filed a series of unfair labor practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board after the company imposed pay cuts of up to 10 percent on certain station workers. Sinclair admitted at the bargaining table that the cuts were not prompted by any financial crisis but simply because the company believes the workers are overpaid.
IBEW represents technicians, news and assignment editors, photographers, engineers, producers and directors at the station. AFTRA represents on-air personnel.
In addition to curtailing pay, Sinclair is insistent on “flexibility” in work assignments—including the right to assign bargaining unit work to non-bargaining unit personnel, “discretion” in raises and changes in employee benefits. Approximately 100 of Sinclair’s 2,400 employees are represented by a union. IBEW also represents Sinclair units in Cedar Rapids, St. Louis and Springfield, IL. Additionally, station WGME has a unit of AFTRA employees and NABET represents workers at WUHF in Rochester, NY.
In the spring of 2010, the union received tremendous support from Democratic candidates in the Maine gubernatorial primary who—at the request of Local 1837 and the Maine AFL-CIO—unanimously agreed to withhold campaign advertising from the CBS-affiliated station, a decision that cost an estimated $500,000 in ad revenue. In response, Sinclair’s management directed the station’s General Manager Tom Humpage to air an editorial attacking the Democratic candidates for their decision.
Placement on the boycott list means that union members will be encouraged not to patronize any Sinclair stations either as viewers or advertisers. The full list of Sinclair-owned stations and their markets is listed below.
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