by Paul Garver
The Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) produced this video to promote its campaign to save the jobs of 600 workers at the Nabisco plant in Chicago.
The global food conglomerate Mondelez International, which now operates five Nabisco factories in the USA. has a history of relocating production of its bakery products from the USA and Europe to lower-wage countries.
Mondelez is opposed by a global coalition of unions cooperating through the International Union of Food Workers (IUF), which includes the BCTGM. Last year the international union network issued a consensus statement demanding that Mondelez stop outsourcing production as part of a Screamdelez campaign demanding justice for Mondelez workers.
Normally international union coalitions have difficulty in supporting appeals to Buy American, which might pit workers in one country against those in another. But there are special circumstances in this case. Production from the two Nabisco Mexican factories in Salinas and Monterey is dedicated entirely to the North American market. The Mexican Nabisco plants have no autonomous union to represent the workers. Moreover Mondelez has used blackmail tactics against the BCTGM Chicago local demanding concessions that would amount to 60% pay cut as the condition of not shifting several production lines from Chicago to Salinas. .
The BCTGM’s campaign is being supported by prominent Mexican-American Chicago politician Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and by a rally addressed by former CWA president Larry Cohen, now a leader of Labor for Bernie. However only vocal and continued consumer support for the campaign might put enough pressure on Mondelez to save several hundred crucial industrial jobs in Chicago.