The union workers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who make Peeps, Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales are on strike.
Their slogan is “No justice, no Peeps!” Which is pretty clever, except Facebook wont let me share the union’s link.
There is an interesting article about the pension issue that is central to the strike in the industry publication, Pension and Investments.
Facebook wouldn’t let me share that either.
Facebook says it is a security issue. Do they think Mike and Ike are working for ISIS?
Peeps are made by a company called Just Born.
Just Born is offering little in the way of a pay raise, says the union. And they want to move employee pensions into a 401K, which would put all the risk of the retirement benefit on the union members.
They have already used this tactic on the workers at their Philadelphia plant that makes Goldenberg Peanut Chews.
It’s not the first time Just Born has tried to reduce its pension fund payments. The deal it is seeking with its 400-member union at its Bethlehem factory mirrors a deal it sought with workers at its Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews factory last year in Northeast Philadelphia.
At that site, the union’s contract expired in June 2015, but workers stayed on the job. In November, the company declared negotiations were at an impasse and unilaterally implemented its final contract offer, putting new hires — about half of its 30-person workforce after a burst of retirements — in a 401(k) plan.
Just Born has started hiring scabs to produce Peeps and says the striking union workers won’t be hired back.
I’m thinking a new product line:
Marshmallow Scabby the Rats.