Chips War: Frito-Lay Workers in Kansas Into 3rd Week of Strike
Should we Coloradoans think about supporting our neighbors in Kansas by boycotting, as over 500 workers are fighting for better working conditions?
You hear about strikes, now and again; it's not often you hear about a strike that lasts over a week, and involves some of America's favorite foods. That's why this strike at a plant in Topeka caught my interest, though it's 600 miles from Fort Collins.
There at 850 workers at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka; 300 of which are still on the job. Over 500 of the 850 workers, who are members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Union (Local #218,) are on the 'picket line.'
WHAT'S GOING ON?
- Most of the plant workers are putting in 84-hour workweeks, working seven days per week.
- In one instance, workers report that one worker died on the job, and the supervisor had them move the body so that work could continue.
- Workers face 100-degree heat inside the plant.
- Workers are seeking increased wages and work hours that afford them time to be with family and friends.
- Frito-Lay did offer the workers a new 2-year contract that would cap working hours to only 60 hours per week, with a 4% raise after the two years.
According to NPR, Frito-Lay states that the workers' union put the 4% raise on the table, and Frito-Lay agreed to it. The strike continues, however.
Until an agreement is reached, people are asked to boycott purchasing Frito-Lay products, along with Pepsi products (as Pepsi is Frito-Lay's parent company.) There are 29 other Frito-Lay factories across the U.S, I wonder how they are feeling.