Kasim Reed Statement on BCTGM Local 42 Nabisco Strike
Mayoral candidate Kasim Reed issued the following statement in support of members of BCTGM Local 42 (Atlanta, GA) who are on strike against Nabisco in Norcross, GA.
“Today, members of BCTGM Local 42 took a necessary step in their fight for a contract settlement that treats Nabisco workers fairly and equitably. For more than 20 years, BCTGM Local 42 has negotiated contracts for their workers that provide careers, living wages, and benefits to support their families. These workers have generated significant economic impact for our city, state, and region, and today I join with BCTGM Local 42 in declaring that we will fight until every last worker has a contract that is acceptable and supports the standard of living they deserve. In the spirit of leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ambassador Young, we must do everything possible to champion unions and their fight for economic justice.
Although previously scheduled campaign obligations prevented me from being in Atlanta today, please know that if I was in the city today I would be standing shoulder to shoulder with you in your fight for fair and equitable treatment. I look forward to joining the picket line upon my return home.”
Members of BCTGM Local 42 went on strike on Aug. 23, and joined workers in Oregon, Virginia, Colorado and Illinois calling for Mondelez Nabisco to halt demands for contract concessions and to cease the outsourcing of union jobs.
In May, after nearly eighty years of operation, the Nabisco plant in SW Atlanta on Murphy Avenue announced plans to close their doors. More than four hundred jobs were lost, despite Nabisco’s net revenue growing by nearly 14% in North America. Since then, Nabisco employees in Norcross, Ga have been working without a contract and turning 12-hour shifts without overtime.
While in office, Reed demonstrated his commitment to fair compensation and workers’ rights by successfully collaborating with union leaders to increase compensation for city employees. Under his leadership, minimum wage was raised to $15 per hour for city workers and public safety personnel and city employees received eleven salary increases totaling more than $26 million in compensation. Additionally, in the midst of the worst economic recession in 80 years, the Reed Administration led a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s $1.8 billion unfunded pension liability, eliminate furloughs and layoffs citywide, and made Atlanta the first local government in the state to offer up to six weeks’ paid parental leave for primary caregivers and up to two weeks for secondary caregivers.
At the end of Reed’s term, the City of Atlanta was on its best financial footing in 40 years. Atlantans benefited from eight consecutive balanced budgets, zero property tax increases, zero water rate increases, nine consecutive credit-rating increases, and more than $200 million in cash reserves.