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Kellogg alleges menacing behavior by picketers at Omaha plant

Kellogg alleges menacing behavior by picketers at Omaha plant

Kellogg 3 (copy)

The Kellogg’s plant in Omaha

[NFA] Thousands of unionized workers are striking across the U.S., demanding higher pay, as rising prices and labor shortages squeeze American employers. This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

Kellogg has received a temporary restraining order against the union representing striking workers after alleging that the union threatened people at its Omaha plant and impeded the flow of business.

Douglas County District Court Judge Timothy Burns issued the restraining order Wednesday afternoon within hours of Kellogg filing its complaint. The judge wrote that “immediate and irreparable injury will occur” without the restraining order. He set a hearing for Nov. 17.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union has been on strike since Oct. 5.

About 1,400 employees — including 480 in Omaha — are on strike.

The company and union are at odds over contract negotiations. The Omaha plant at 9601 F St. makes cereal.

Dan Osborn, the local union president, said the union is reviewing the lawsuit and the restraining order. Osborn, who is named in the suit, declined to comment further.

The order prohibits the local union and its partners from:

impeding movement in and out of the plant, and it requires that picketers get out of the way and remain out of the way until all vehicles have entered or left;

going onto Kellogg’s property;

picketing in large groups;

pointing lights or lasers into vehicles;

damaging Kellogg’s property or the vehicles of those accessing the property;

threatening or intimidating people working or doing business there.

The company said the tactics used by the union are menacing, violate the rights of others and constitute a public and private nuisance.

According to the company, representatives of the union have obstructed access to the plant, including by throwing themselves in front of vehicles; threatened the lives of those working at the plant; threatened their families, including by saying that a worker’s wife and children would be harmed (including sexually); followed people home or around the city; trespassed onto plant property; and jostled with vehicles, buses and trucks accessing the plant.

The goal of these tactics, according to the lawsuit, has been to persuade people to quit working for Kellogg.

Kellogg said it has contacted Omaha police and union leadership seeking to have the actions halted. The company said it is being harmed and is seeking compensation.


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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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