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Some Frito-Lay strikers return to work as company makes contract offer

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:58 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After three days of contract negotiations between the Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) local 218 union and Frito-Lay, a tentative contract agreement has been reached.

Mark McCarter, a union steward for local 218, said Frito-Lay made a contract offer after three days of contract negotiations with union representatives.

Jason Davis, an International Representative for BCTGM said he thinks the offer “addresses some of the concerns with the company when it comes to overtime and days off and hopefully at the end of the day it’ll be the membership that will decide if it’s enough for them”.

Davis described the mood in the negotiation hearings as “contentious, but productive and had a lot of conversations”.

He said that the union needs to let Frito-Lay know their decision about the offer By 11:59 pm Sunday.

Davis wanted to thank the city of Topeka for support throughout the negotiation process and that it has been “a true honor” to serve the union members.

Mark Benaka, the Business Manager of local 218 said a ratification vote on Frito-Lay’s offer will take place from 8 am- 10 pm Friday.

Some union members have left picket line since start of strike

Mark McCarter, BCTGM Local 218′s union steward said about 10 union members have returned to their positions at Frito-Lay within the last week but said it was to be expected.

“There’s people have children there’s people that have families who need that insurance,” he said.

“There have been employees that have gone back to work not an astronomical number have gone back to work but people have gone back to work.”

He said there are no hard feelings towards the union members that made the decision.

“We have all worked together for many years our intent is not to destroy families live that’s not our intent our intent is to make the lives better for people in our union,” he said.

In a statement to 13 NEWS Frito-Lay expressed appreciation for the employees who have come back to work:

The company is planning to host a hiring event Thursday and Friday.

McCarter said that does not worry him and he thinks it can help with some of the union members’ concerns.

“That’s what we have asked them to do we support the hiring of the community we support that we want you to hire people but we don’t want you to hire people to work those 12 hours 7 days a week we want relief for the employees.”

Frito-Lay said the hiring fair was planned before the start of the strike to fill open positions and they are not permanently replacing employees who are on strike.

More details about the hiring event can be found here.

Previous story updated at 6:01 pm

Frito Lay has made a new offer to the local union.

Mark McCarter, a union steward, says Frito Lay has made an offer to BCTGM #218 and a vote will be held on Friday.

Members of the local union have been on strike since July 5. They said they are fighting for higher wages, shorter hours and less overtime.

This is a developing story.

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