Pennsylvania-based Hershey Foods Corp took a full-page advert out in local newspapers yesterday [Wednesday] in which it was unequivocal about which side is to blame for the three week strike of 2,800 chocolate workers.

“The last time we met [with the labour union leaders]… we brought new ideas and a willingness to compromise,” insisted Hershey: “The union leadership did not. Tomorrow must be different.”

The company is set to revive talks with union leaders today. They last met on 24 April. The two sides have already made agreements on wage issues, medical benefits for retirees, and retroactive pay.

One contentious issue remains, however; the rate of employee contributions to its health care plan. Currently, chocolate workers pay 6%, but Hershey wants to up this to 12% in the fourth year of the contract.

The union bosses say that this is an issue on which they will not bend. Bruce Hummel, a negotiator for the Chocolate Workers Local 464 union, explained that they believe Hershey’s stance to be about keeping non-unionised workers without better pay deals, rather than the money itself.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“What they’re afraid of is if our negotiation stays at 6% on the low-cost health plan … they’re going to have to pass that onto [non-unionised workers]” Hummel told the Associated Press: “Because if they didn’t, the[y] would come down here and knock on our door.”