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Strike at Frito-Lay ends as union members ratify contract

July 24, 2021 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Union members at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka have approved a new contract and will return to work Monday, ending a nearly three-week strike at the plant, union officials said.

Members of Local 218 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union approved the contract Friday. It gives all union members a 4% pay raise over two years and guarantees workers at least one day off each week, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

More than 500 of the 850 employees represented by the union went on strike on July 5, complaining of a toxic work environment, forced overtime and a lack of pay raises.

Workers said the shifts were caused by a severe staffing shortage at the plant.

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Carolyn Fisher, spokeswoman for PepsiCo., Frito-Lay’s parent company, said the contract allows the company to rebid its entire facility, or parts of it, once during the two-year contract.

Labor-management committees will be formed to make recommendations on staffing and overtime and shape the re-bid process.

“We feel very strongly that if we can reset the facility, we will address a lot of the staffing and the overtime issues,” Fisher said. “We will make schedules that are more desirable, which will then increase retention and attraction of new staff. It’s a significant element of this offer.”