In November, US and Mexican Bishops urged that negotiators working to amend NAFTA ensure that any new agreement better protects workers on both sides of the border. Mondelez International, which owns Nabisco, is giving an example of why this is necessary. A couple of years back the company demanded that workers producing Oreo cookies on Chicago’s South Side offer massive wage and benefit concessions as the price of keeping production in place. The workers, represented by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers union (BCTGM), resisted – and the company promptly relocated production to Monterrey, Mexico, laying off 600 bakers and devastating the community.
The BCTGM has organized a boycott of the Oreo cookies outsourced to Mexico, and is working with Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) to share their story. In December, IWJ issued a report on the dispute, Breaking Faith: Outsourcing and the Damage Done to our Communities.