By Don McIntosh
It’s been more than three years since the contract between Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM) and Mondelēz-Nabisco expired, and the two sides haven’t been able to reach a new agreement since then. The union says it can’t accept the company’s insistence on replacing the pension with a 401(k). In May 2018, the company declared impasse and withdrew from the pension anyway, over union protest.
The pension fight has impacted members of Portland-based BCTGM Local 364 in a personal way. On Aug. 9, union retirees picketed outside Nabisco’s North Portland plant, joined by several active workers.
Mondelēz has said it wants out in part because the multi-employer pension sponsored by BCTGM is projected to become insolvent, but union members are holding onto hope that Congress could pass the Butch-Lewis Act, a bill that would loan money to distressed pensions to enable them to recover. That could change the financial calculus for a company like Mondelēz, says Local 364 business representative Cameron Taylor.