Image of Kellogg’s worker picketing in 3am storm goes viral amid ‘second industrial revolution’

Stirring image of striking worker Jason Schultz praised for being ‘worth a thousand words’

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Friday 15 October 2021 21:36
Comments
<p>Jason Schultz said he stayed on the picket lines during the storm ‘to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving’</p>

Jason Schultz said he stayed on the picket lines during the storm ‘to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving’

A grainy cellphone photograph of a lone Kellogg’s factory worker defiantly holding a picket sign in a rainstorm has gone viral.

The picture was posted to the Kellogg Union Members Appreciation Page, and shows Jason Schultz standing in a hooded jacket, with the smoke from several recently-extinguished grills smouldering in the background.

“Middle of the night – torrential downpour – fire is drowned out – BUT Local 50g stands strong and our picket sign is higher now than ever before,” the post read, referring to the Omaha chapter of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) union.

Mr Schultz is one of 1400 workers at the cereal company who are striking for better pay and conditions across Michigan, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Omaha and Memphis.

He told Vice he had stayed on the picket line “to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving”.

“Many will see one person (in the photo). To me, that is over 1,400 brothers and sisters standing as one. We are prepared to stay out one day longer than the company if that’s what it takes.”

The photograph has been shared thousands of times across Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, where it drew praise for being “worth a thousand words”.

The image was taken by Kellogg’s worker Erin Shaffer, who had gone to take cover from the rain in her car.

She told Newsweek she was struck by Mr Schultz’s resolve to stay on the picket lines during the storm.

“I thought it showed such dedication for him to be out there in a torrential downpour,” Ms Shaffer, who has been working at Kellogg’s since June, said.

“He was walking up and down the sidewalk with great purpose. I thought he was amazing for being out there.”

The President of the Omaha chapter of the BCTGM union, Dan Osborn, told The Independent he had been blown away by the support the striking workers had received.

“It’s a cocktail of emotions. It’s been humbling to see the outpouring of support not just from the local community but people nationwide. People have been donating not just money but food water diapers.

Kellogg’s staff have been on strike for two weeks after negotations between management and the union broke down

“There’s definitely a movement sweeping the nation, I call it the second industrial resolution.”

A group of 17 Nebraska state senators wrote to Kellogg’s CEO Steven Cahillane to declare their “unwavering solidarity” with the striking workers.

The strike has seen production of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals including Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes grind to a halt.

Kellogg’s staff went on strike earlier this month after a year-long negotiation between union and management broke down.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in