TOPEKA (KSNT) – Frito-Lay has shed light Thursday morning that its new tentative agreement for union workers includes raises at its Topeka plant, though it’s not clear what changes will come to another key issue they’ve gone on strike about.
The company’s statement says the union will have input into overtime and staffing, and that it will “address employee concerns around guaranteed days off,” but does not share detail beyond that. It also mentioned employees in all departments will get pay raises, but did not specify if they will be higher than the previously offered 2% annual raises for two years. The deal came from a Wednesday night meeting between Frito-Lay and union leaders after 17 days of an employee strike.
The company also said the union has requested the specifics of the offer be kept private for now, but urged the workers to vote to approve the deal so “they can end the strike and return to work.”
“Following the union membership’s rejection of the July 1 fully recommended offer and the strike that began on July 5, [Bread, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Union] Local 218 requested a meeting. We’ve spent the last three days jointly revisiting the terms of the prior offer and have aligned on a new offer that will better address employee concerns around guaranteed days off and create additional opportunities for the union to have input into staffing and overtime. Importantly, the revised offer once again includes across-the-board wage increases to employees in all job classifications. We believe this offer addresses the most pressing issues raised by our employees, and we believe it represents a win-win for both the union and Frito-Lay. We are urging employees to ratify this offer so they can end the strike and return to work. At the request of the union, we cannot release the specifics of the offer at this time.”Frito-Lay
Union members told KSNT News in the previously struck-down deal from July 1, Frito-Lay offered to limit the amount of forced overtime per week, which some members said has been a problem for years. It also presented a 2% annual raise for two years. Over 400 members voted on that first deal, and the overwhelming majority decided against it.
Union leaders said they plan to hold a vote on the new deal Friday.
“Our members are the ones who vote in the process,” Jason Davis, an International Representative for BCTGM said. “Everything we do is for our members and on behalf of our members, so at the end of the day it’s the member’s decision as to what is good enough for them.”
Union Steward Mark McCarter said workers will keep striking through to the voting date. During the course of this current strike, Frito-Lay posted job openings to make up for missing workers, and a local grocery store noted a shortage in shipments of their products.
“They’re not bringing in as much as they used to,” Seabrook Apple Market Store Manager Terry Fleer said. “They say it’s only going to be those core brands coming in.”