Nabisco back at the table with Bakers

Bakers Local 364 member Paul Brock was part of a Dec. 8 demonstration outside the palatial Northwest Portland home of Mondelēz-Nabisco board member Christiana Shi. Local union members hold her and other board members responsible for the company’s decision — over union objections — to withdraw from the Bakers-sponsored multi-employer pension in May.

The deep freeze between the Bakers union and Mondelēz-Nabisco may be about to thaw. The union represents 2,200 workers at Nabisco’s five U.S. plants (including about 200 workers at Nabisco’s Portland Bakery) and three distribution centers, but they’ve been working without a new collective bargaining agreement since their previous one expired Feb. 29, 2016. In May 2018, the company unilaterally implemented parts of what it called its final offer, giving 2.25 percent raises, but also withdrawing from the union-sponsored multi-employer pension.

But in October and November, the two sides met for bargaining for the first time in more than two years. Nate Zeff, assistant to the union’s strategic campaign coordinator, told the Labor Press he’s optimistic about possible progress in the talks. Zeff said at a daylong meeting in October, the Bakers Union put forward a  detailed new proposal to resolve the pension dispute.

The two sides expect to meet again in January.

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