Kensington, Md., July 12, 2021 – Anthony Shelton, International President of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) issued the following statement on the strike by Local 218 members at the Frito Lay facility in Topeka, Kansas impacting more than 800 workers:

“We stand in solidarity with the hardworking men and women of BCTGM Local 218 on strike against Frito Lay. These families have the International Union’s unwavering support as they stand up for justice and dignity on the job.

This strike is about more than wages and benefits. It is about the quality of life for these workers and their families. Despite our repeated warnings to the management of Frito Lay over the last decade, current employees are being forced to work seven days a week, up to 12 hours per shift. Many of the more than 800 workers are only getting an eight-hour break between shifts. They are forcing the current workforce to work double and triple shifts. Workers do not have enough time to see their family, do chores around the house, run errands, or even get a healthy night’s sleep. This strike is about working people having a voice in their futures and taking a stand for their families.

Frito Lay, owned by beverage and food processing giant Pepsico, is exploiting its dedicated employees and risking their health by forcing them to work so many hours.  The union has repeatedly asked the company to hire more workers and yet despite record profits, Frito Lay management has refused this request.

I salute our membership, who were left with no choice but to strike to defend the livelihoods of themselves and their families. BCTGM negotiators stand ready to work toward a fair contract that reflects the value of these hardworking men and women. We simply ask that management recognize the sacrifices our members have made, and work with us to find a solution that promotes the well-being of our membership and their families.”

For starters, I recommend adhering to the Boycott of PepsiCo products. I support the striking of other Frito-Lay/PepsiCo Unions. To immediately help the striking members of BCTGM #218, consider contributing to their strike fund at the following link:

It’s on ALL of us to make our conditions better and FORCE our employers to take us seriously. #Solidarity!

I also encourage everyone who supports the strike to go to the following Facebook page to let them know directly!

Part of an ongoing or upcoming labor strike? Contact us at to let us know about it, or to take part in an interview!

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