BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — A tentative agreement toward a new five-year labor contract covering 1,400 Kellogg Co. employees has fallen apart after the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) overwhelmingly voted to reject the tentative agreement on Dec. 5.

The announcement comes after Kellogg on Dec. 2 revealed details of a tentative agreement and issued a statement noting its optimism that an end to the strike may be near.

The strike began on Oct. 5 and affects Kellogg ready-to-eat cereal plants in Battle Creek; Lancaster, Pa.; Omaha, Neb.; and Memphis, Tenn.

Reflecting on the vote, Anthony Shelton, president of BCTGM International, said the union’s “members have spoken.”

“The strike continues,” he said. “The International Union will continue to provide full support to our striking Kellogg’s members.

“The BCTGM is grateful for the outpouring of fraternal support we received from across the labor movement for our striking members at Kellogg’s. Solidarity is critical to this fight.”

Chris Hood, president of Kellogg North America, said the company must now focus on continuing operations.

“After 19 negotiation sessions in 2021, and still no deal reached, we will continue to focus on moving forward to operate our business,” Mr. Hood said. “The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to continue executing the next phase of our contingency plan, including hiring replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers.

“While certainly not the result we had hoped for, we must take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity. We have an obligation to our customers and consumers to continue to provide the cereals that they know and love.”

According to materials posted by Kellogg on Dec. 2, the tentative agreement would have resulted in 3% wage increases on ratification and cost of living adjustments afterward (capped at $3 per hour) with “substantial increases for transitional employees, depending on years of service.”

Also upon ratification, all employees with at least four years of service would have qualified to legacy wages and benefits. Each year of the contract, remaining transitional employees would “graduate” to legacy status at the rate of 3% of the plant’s headcount. Previous caps on graduation rates have been eliminated.

The agreement also included numerous health care, pension and vacation/time off provisions as well.