Locked-out Kellogg workers return to work

Locked out Kellogg workers scheduled to return to work
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) – Hundreds of Kellogg workers headed back to work after a more than now 10-month fight against a lockout that left them without a paycheck, but the fight may not be over.

Workers' celebrations might not last long since a new decision compelled Kellogg to reevaluate its plan to bring its workers back.

This all started in October of 2013 when contract negotiations broke down. Since then, workers have been locked out and without a paycheck while the company brought in cheaper labor.

A judge ended the lockout in July of 2014, but another judge backed Kellogg in a later ruling against the National Labor Relations Board that lodged the charges against the company last year.

Kellogg says it still looks forward to having its employees back to work this week, but the company will have to take another look at the plan.

As employees returned August 11, they participated in a "return-to-work" training and processing session. Employees left the four-hour reinstatement session at the University of Memphis campus Monday with packets in hand.

Also, the workers were fitted for safety shoes Monday, after the 10-month lockout.

"We're just tickled to death now that we're back, our benefits are going to be reinstated and we can go on with life, Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Vice President Earl Earley said.

Workers say months without income and health benefits were hard.

Some workers retired during the lockout, but 205 of the original 226 employees head back to the plant Tuesday.

Pending an appeal, the workers are currently not scheduled to get and back-pay for days locked out.

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