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PepsiCo Owned Frito-Lay Workers Are Up For a Strike 

After three weeks of strike, hundreds of PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay employees in Topeka, Kansas has approved a revamped agreement on Saturday. That addressed what union leaders had defined as a much inferior quality of life stemming from work conditions, including long hours, forced overtime, and depleting wages.

The new contract will offer workers an assured day off each workweek, and eliminates suicide shifts or squeeze shifts. The squeeze shift is where workers have to work eight-hour a day plus four hours of overtime before returning for their next shift. PepsiCo owned Frito-lay said that the union representing the workers will have additional opportunities for input on staffing and overtime. The rewritten agreement provides 4% wage increases to employees in all job classifications over the two-year contract.

The workers belong to Local 218 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. Anthony Shelton, the union’s international president, made a statement that workers have shown the world that union working people can stand up against the massive food companies in the world. They claim victory for themselves, their families and their communities. The 20-day strike marked the beginning of the plant in its decades of operation.

Shelton said that the workers are not given enough time to see their family, do chores around the house, run errands, or even get a healthy night’s sleep. The company called the union’s claims about long hours grossly exaggerated. PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay made a statement that at all times they have negotiated in good faith with union representatives to address the most pressing concerns raised regarding hours of work and overtime. They believe the approach to settling these strikes indicates how they listen to the employees, and when concerns are raised, they are taken seriously and addressed.

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