Kellogg’s is sacking 1400 US employees who have been on strike since October after they rejected a three per cent pay rise.
It follows months of disagreement between the cereal giant and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International Union.
Staff said they deserved a higher wage boost because they often work over 80 hours a week and kept the company going during the pandemic.
They have been striking at factories in Michigan, Nebraska and Pennsylvania and Tennessee since 5 October.
Speaking to the Guardian, Michigan employee Trevor Bidelman described it as a “fight for our future”.
“We just work seven days a week, sometimes 100 to 130 days in a row,” he said.
“For 28 days, the machines run, then rest three days for cleaning. They don’t even treat us as well as they do their machinery.”
Kellogg’s said it would start hiring permanent replacements for the striking workers.
The $63-a-share company had already been using salaried employees and outside workers to keep its factories operating.
“While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity,” North America president Chris Hood said.
“We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love.”