The MTD-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) launched a video showing members of its Local 300 in Chicago being loaded into a container as their Nabisco jobs head to Mexico during the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO Executive Board meeting in San Diego.
Speaking after the video on February 19, BCTGM International Secretary-Treasurer Steve Bertelli (an MTD Executive Board Member) declared “NAFTA – the gift that keeps on giving,” referring to the 1994 trade agreement among the U.S., Canada and Mexico that has cost hundreds of thousands of U.S.-based manufacturing jobs.
Bertelli told the board that the parent company of Nabisco, Mondelez International, has been closing plants in the U.S. and Canada, laying off thousands of BCTGM members not because of sagging sales, but to increase profits.
He said the company has built the largest bakery in the world in Salinas, Mexico, as Mondelez wants to have 70 percent of its Nabisco products produced in that country.
Last summer, Mondelez announced it would invest more in its Salinas plant and cut 600 jobs at the Chicago Nabisco plant after the local rejected an offer that would have reduced members’ wage and benefits between $22 and $29 per hour.
Bertelli pointed out BCTGM members have produced Nabisco products for more than 50 years.
“We fulfilled our part of the contract. We showed up for work. We did what was needed to do. We were loyal.
“All Mondelez cares about is money and profits,” he told the board, adding that the union won’t giveback anymore “without a fight.”
The MTD board approved a statement calling for solidarity with the Bakery Workers, praising the union’s effort to help consumers identify Nabisco products made in Mexico. Bertelli said each Nabisco product has a number/letter code, and if the code contains the letter “M” it was made in Mexico.
He thanked the MTD by saying, “You are always there for us.”
For more information about the BCTGM campaign, go to www.fightingforAmericanjobs.org .