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MTD Joins BCTGM Nabisco Day of Action

BCTGM Sec-Treas Steve Bertelli announces the union’s digital day of action during the MTD Executive Board meeting.
BCTGM Sec-Treas Steve Bertelli announces the union’s digital day of action during the MTD Executive Board meeting.

The MTD joins with its affiliate – the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) – in a digital day of action calling attention to the loss of American jobs at Nabisco.

BCTGM Secretary-Treasurer Steve Bertelli updated the MTD Executive Board on the campaign when it met in San Antonio March 9-10. Like last year, the board approved a statement of support.

Bertelli, who serves on the MTD Executive Board, said the union has been promoting consumers to look at the label of Nabisco products to see if they are baked in the United States, Canada or Mexico. He said the facilities in the U.S. and Canada have union contracts, but the company that owns Nabisco – Mondelez – has been closing those shops and moving the jobs to Mexico.

“These bakeries have been the backbones of their communities,” Bertelli declared. “Some of the workers are second and third generations who are losing their livelihoods.”

He noted reports are coming to BCTGM that the consumer campaign has affected Mondelez’ bottom line as Nabisco products have not been selling as well as previously. He added that BCTGM last fall launched an additional outreach to college campuses, with the laid-off workers from the closed Chicago plant, telling students, faculty and staff what has happened to them and their community since Mondelez shuttered the doors to the Nabisco plant.

The following is the full statement of support passed unanimously by the MTD board:

“Protecting Middle Class Jobs”

Despite a surging stock market, working families continue to bear the brunt of misguided corporate policies that place the needs of wealthy investors over those of workers and the communities in which they reside.

Jobs that supported generations of families and allowed American communities to thrive have been shipped to low-wage nations that allow multinational companies to exploit cheap labor and weak regulatory regimes.

For over a year, the MTD-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) has been challenging this corporate model in its campaign with one of the largest snack food companies in the world: Nabisco, a division of Mondelez International.

Through decades of changing corporate ownership, the company’s executive leadership began a corporate strategy of closing unionized plants and moving that production to Mexico or to non-union co-manufacturers.

When the $30 billion company announced in July 2015 that it would be laying off 600 workers at the iconic Chicago bakery and sending that production to a new $400 million bakery in Mexico, the Bakery Workers chose to launch a far reaching campaign to fight this company and its anti-worker policies.

With the active support of the labor movement, including the MTD, and progressive organizations throughout the United States, the BCTGM launched a Check the Label campaign to educate consumers about the importance of not purchasing Made in Mexico Nabisco products and supporting American-made Nabisco brands.

The BCTGM then launched the Nabisco 600 speaking tour, which featured laid off workers from the Chicago bakery telling their personal stories about losing their jobs. These workers have spoken in front of union conventions, meetings, and conferences. In fall 2016, the Nabisco 600 speakers began a Campus Tour educating students and faculty at colleges and universities across the country about the impact of outsourcing, trade deals gone bad, corporate greed and worker exploitation.

The MTD, its affiliates and its Port Maritime Councils, reaffirm our fraternal support for our Sisters and Brothers of the BCTGM in its campaign against Nabisco-Mondelez.

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