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Bakery Workers appeal to shareholders as Oreo brand goes to Mexico

As President Trump talks fair trade, some companies continue to ship jobs out of the United States. The open letter below explains the callous betrayal by multinational corporation Mondelez of 1,000 Nabisco workers in Chicago who, for 50 years, made Oreo cookies. It is for just this reason that the Boilermakers are involved in global labor unions, to combat the power, greed and inhumanity of such businesses.


KENSINGTON, Md., May 17, 2017 – As Mondelez shareholders prepare to gather for the Company’s Annual Meeting, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), which represents thousands of members at Mondelez International, maker of Nabisco snack products, issued an open letter to highlight the yawning gap between Mondelez’s rhetoric and the reality of its corporate and social responsibility record. The full text of the letter is included below:

Dear Mondelez Shareholders:

As you may have seen, Mondelez’s Annual Shareholder Letter – filed as part of the proxy for the upcoming Shareholder Meeting – makes clear reference to the fact that Mondelez’s growth is, “directly linked to enhancing the well-being of the people who make and enjoy our products.” This builds on Mondelez’s oft-cited “Call for Well-Being” program, which purports to care for, among other things, all those who make the company great – including its employees. A broad range of programs are cited to support this claim: sustainable cocoa production initiatives, biodiverse wheat production, and a ‘Palm Oil Production Plan,” among several others. Notably absent from this litany of good corporate deeds, however, is any mention of the plight of the dedicated workers from BCTGM who, for more than 50 years, have been the labor behind the Oreo cookie.

This is merely the latest betrayal of BCTGM and its members. Mondelez’s actions since 2012, in particular, have sent a very clear message that it now views its workforce – and their families – as disposable. This is most evident in the company’s 2015 closure of its Philadelphia bakery, eliminating hundreds of middle-class jobs, and its massive downsizing of the Chicago bakery in 2016 that extinguished another 600 good American jobs. Despite the Company’s altruistic rhetoric, therefore, we must refute any notion that Mondelez practices what it preaches. In fact, we must ask – how can a company that intentionally put at least 1,000 Americans out of work; that pays the workers at its new $450M plant in Salinas, Mexico inhumane wages (reportedly around $1.00 per hour); that continues to ignore our pleas to have a dialogue about renewing the diminished relationship with our Union and the workers we represent – how can such a company have the hubris to extoll its own humanitarian virtues?

As shareholders, you have a unique opportunity to hold Mondelez accountable for these actions and demand answers concerning why it has turned its back on its employees - who provided decades of dedicated service - by moving stable middle-class jobs out of the United States to its facilities in Mexico and taking positions that undermine the basic tenets of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”). This short-sighted approach has robbed generations of workers, their families, and their communities of the basic promise of the American dream.

We understand, and respect, that the bottom line is important. We also understand, however, that profit at the expense of the very people who help create it is not success – it is greed. So, today, we ask that you, the owners of Mondelez, hold the Board of Directors and the management accountable for their actions. Find out just what kind of company Mondelez is, and most importantly, tell Mondelez what kind of company it should be in the future.

David B. Durkee, International President, BCTGM

Ron Baker, BCTGM Strategic Campaign Coordinator
(703) 508-2637

Jonathan Morgan or Alex Hinson, Perry Street Communications
(214) 965-9955

Tags  Headline News
Published on the Web: May 16, 2017

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