TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Workers and the bosses at Topeka’s Frito-Lay facility have been at odds for months.
Now hundreds of workers are planning to stop showing up for work.
About 500 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Millers Local 218 Union members are expected to strike starting Monday.
Members of the union and Frito-Lay have been trying to come up with a new contract since September. Members said the union hasn’t ever gone on a strike at Frito-Lay.
Union leaders said workers are being overworked with mandatory overtime, and they deserve a pay raise.
Workers said they want their salaries to be comparable to nearby plants.
“We’re not stopping, we’re going to go ahead an strike,” said Brent Hall, union president “I mean unless the company wants to come to the table and offer us something that’s decent, then we’re not going to sit here and entertain any kind of raises that don’t match up to what the economy is demanding.”
Frito-Lay released the following statement.
“Frito-Lay and BCTGM have been negotiating for more than nine months to reach a mutually agreeable collective bargaining agreement. Three offers of long-term contracts (3-4 years) have been previously rejected by the union. When Frito-Lay and the union last met two and a half weeks ago to discuss a one-year contract, union leadership agreed a one-year contract made sense. The union gave no indication Frito-Lay’s offer was going to draw a strike – not even the possibility. The tone of those meetings was cordial. We are shocked by the strike authorization vote. We are more than willing to meet with the union to continue discussions on non-economic issues and concerns. We believe a strike would be the most harmful outcome for everyone involved, especially our employees.”Frito-Lay
Hall said a deal is still possible if Frito-Lay vastly improves their offer.
“I’m not here to strike and neither is any of our people, but it’s been a long time coming,” Hall said.