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Why hundreds of Frito-Lay workers have been on strike

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In recent years, however, employees and union members say the facility where Doritos, Cheetos and Tostitos are manufactured has become another toxic work environment.
Hundreds of Frito-Lay workers at Topeka facilities are in the third week of a strike why union leaders describe them as long hours, forced overtime, stagnant wages, and a decreased quality of life. Is the first strike to the plant in his decades of operation.

Members of the Local 218 union of Bakers, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Cereal Millers have asked the company to eat snacks to provide better working conditions and pay. Among his grievances are the so-called “suicide shifts,” in which employees work a full day of eight hours plus four overtime hours, just days before the next shift.

“Workers don’t have enough time to see their family, do chores at home, do surcharges or even sleep a healthy night,” said the union’s international president, Anthony Shelton. Declaration of July 12. “This strike is about working people having a voice in their future and positioning themselves for their families.”
Frito-Lay, owned by PepsiCo, he said in a statement that claims about long hours were “severely exaggerated.” He also pointed to a contractual offer he made before the strike that would limit overtime limits to 60 hours and end what was known as “compression shifts”.

Corrina Christensen, communications director of the main union of pastry ovens, confectionery, tobacco workers and cereal mills he told CNN on Thursday that negotiations had concluded and that he would not comment further until after a vote by members. Frito-Lay did not respond to specific requests for comment from CNN, but noted public statements released this week.

Workers feel they are “pushed to the brink”

As a nation continues to recover of the pandemic, PepsiCo recently reported quarterly earnings which exceeded Wall Street estimates: Frito-Lay North America saw its organic revenue grow by 6%.

Workers at the Topeka plant, however, feel burned.

Union leaders said in a podcast interview last week they had been asking management for years to fix staff shortages which resulted in forced overtime and long shifts, but the problems were not adequately addressed.

“Before they went on strike, employees were already short of 100, and that’s where a lot of overtime comes in,” said Paul Klemme, chief executive of Local 218.

This was stated by Mark McCarter, a Frito-Lay employee and union representative who has been working at the Topeka facility for more than three decades. VICI who earns $ 20.50 an hour despite his long career at the company and who hasn’t received a proper raise in ten years.

“I think people are pushed to the brink,” he told the dam. “COVID created a bit of that. During COVID, managers started working from home. People see it and realize they have other options. Everyone hires and raises their salary because no one wants to work for $ 8 anymore. the time “.

Cherie Renfro, another facility worker, criticized Frito-Lay for giving bonuses instead of raises and accused the company of lowering the salaries of new employees. He also said workers received no risk pay or any other recognition for the risks they took during the pandemic.

“You have no problem paying for drug testing, background, guidance and training for more than 350 employees you hired and lost this past year,” Renfro wrote in Topeka Capital newspaper. “But you have a problem giving decent wages to keep loyal, already trained employees who are already here.”

More than 800 workers are affected by the strike.

Where are things

Union members rejected a July 1 offer from Frito-Lay before going on strike.

Negotiations resumed this week and on Thursday the two sides concluded their talks.

Frito-Lay said in a statement that the new offer “will better address employee concerns around guaranteed days off and create additional opportunities for the union to provide staff and overtime,” adding that it would include general wage increases.

Christensen, a spokesman for the main union, said members are currently voting on the contract and that results are expected late Friday.

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