There's another potential hurdle looming for plastics processors, this one for packaging suppliers to food companies.
About 1,400 workers at Kellogg Co.'s cereal plants in the U.S. are on strike, marking the first work stoppage by Kellogg employees since 1972. The current strike comes after a summer that saw strikes at Nabisco (the first strike since 1969) and Frito-Lay.
There are obviously a lot of different reasons behind each strike — Kellogg workers are pointing to a need to change a two-tier pay and benefits program impacting some employees — but there's a common thread, Patricia Campos-Medina, the executive director of The Worker Institute at ILR Cornell, told the Associated Press.
The ongoing labor shortage in the U.S. is giving union members more clout than they've had in years to address what they see as a steady erosion in their status.
"Workers in general are demanding that companies invest more in the workforce and not just use the profits for the shareholders," she said.
Kellogg, based in Battle Creek, Mich., plans to restart production lines with management and nonunion employees. For suppliers of film and rigid plastics used by the cereal company, that may ensure there will be no disruption in demand for their products, but don't be surprised if another customer faces a similar strike in the future.