By MALLORY GRUBEN
Mondelez International outsourced the work of union members at the Portland Nabisco plant to a new facility without telling Teamsters Local 206, then refused to follow the grievance and arbitration processes when workers complained, according to a lawsuit in Oregon federal court.
The Portland bakery makes Oreos, Ritz Crackers, and other Kraft-Nabisco snack foods. Local 206 represents the workers who prepare those products for shipment. According to their contract, only union members can do that work, and Local 206 is their exclusive bargaining agent. (Bakers Local 364 represents the employees who make the snacks, and Machinists Lodge 63 and Operating Engineers Local 701 represent workers who maintain the machines.)
In May, Local 206 learned that Mondelez had opened a second facility at 14310 N. Lombard St. in Portland that the company calls a “fulfillment center,” where workers also package and ship Nabisco products. The facility operated for almost a year before Local 206 knew about it, according to court documents.
Local 206 filed a grievance stating that quietly opening a new facility where workers do the same jobs without union representation violated several parts of the contract. Mondelez responded that the facility is operated by a third party, so the union doesn’t have jurisdiction. Local 206 disagreed and asked for arbitration. The company refused to submit the grievance to arbitration.
Local 206 filed suit Aug. 3 in the U.S. District Court in Oregon asking a judge to order arbitration in accordance with its union contract.