Members of RWDSU/UFCW Local 374 who work at the Post Cereal plant in Battle Creek, Mich., also known as “Cereal City,” recently ratified a new contract that strengthens wages and benefits.
The three-year contract includes an immediate $1.50 per hour raise for maintenance employees, who will receive an additional six percent increase over the life of the agreement. Employees in other departments will see an 8.75 percent increase.
The bargaining committee was able to achieve a three-year reduction in the time it takes new employees to achieve the full wage rate. At the time of ratification, all employees who were in their fifth, sixth and seventh year of employment immediately moved to full wage, resulting in a nearly $10 per hour wage increase. Starting wages were also increased by $2.37.
These big wage increases were accompanied by improvements to eligibility for additional vacation time; limits on mandatory overtime; a reduction in employee insurance premiums; the elimination of the company’s ability to increase insurance out of pocket premiums; and an increase in disability benefits, as well as the elimination of the previous five-year waiting period for eligibility for this benefit.