The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) boycott of imported snack foods produced by Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco. Liz Schuler, the AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, announced, “It is important to emphasize that BCTGM is only asking the public to avoid Nabisco snack foods made in Mexico.”
The list of products to avoid includes Oreos, Newtons, Chips Ahoy, Honey Grahams, Animal Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Premium, Belvita, Lorna Doone, Teddy Grahams, Honey Maid and Wheat Thins. To determine where the goods were produced, BCTGM suggests shoppers look at the product code. If an “M” appears, it was made in Mexico. Since Nabisco still makes snack foods in the U.S. and Canada, it is important to check the label.
The problems with Mondelez began when it built the largest bakery in the world in Salinas Victoria, Mexico with plans to transfer 70 percent of its operations from the U.S. and Canada. Mondelez then went to BCTGM Local 300 in Chicago to ask for $46 million in concessions to secure a $130 million investment in the Chicago plant. Those concessions would have meant an approximately 60 percent reduction in pay and benefits for 1,000 Chicago workers. When the members refused, Mondelez made good on plans to shift operations to Mexico, laying off workers.
In February, Steve Bertelli, the BTCGM Secretary-Treasurer, explained the dire situation to the MTD Executive Board. “We fulfilled our part of the contract. We showed up for work. We did what was needed. We were loyal. All Mondelez cares about is money and profits,” Bertelli declared.
The MTD board approved a statement calling for solidarity with the Bakery Workers, praising the union’s efforts to help consumers identify Nabisco products made in Mexico
For more information on the boycott and which products to avoid, go to: