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.

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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.

[Source: NPR]

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