The Frito-Lay strike sounds like something that belongs in the 1920s

Frito Lay Factory

Hundreds of workers at the Frito-Lay facility in Topeka are on strike. // Courtesy of Abigail Censky

Strikes regarding fair wages and reasonable hours sound like things that belong in the past, right? Think again. Nearly 600 employees at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas, are entering the second week of their strike and a fair deal is nowhere in sight.

Currently, the employees on strike make up 80% of the plant’s workforce.

The employees asked for an end to the poverty-level wages they were earning and the forced overtime they have been working, which seem like reasonable requests. We would all be pretty upset if we never got time to spend with our families while simultaneously being paid terribly.

In a statement released to KSNT, Frito-Lay says that the company met with union membership and created a deal that would increase wages across the board by 2% and improve work rules that would have reduced overtime and hours worked. That deal was voted down on Saturday, with workers saying that the increase to wages— which would only be 50 cents— was not enough.

The company then went on to criticize union officials, saying that they were out of touch with their fellow employees and had failed to secure a deal.

“That the union membership rejected this fully recommended agreement suggests union leadership is out of touch with the sentiments of Frito-Lay employees,” the statement says. “Because the union had fully recommended our tentative agreement, we do not anticipate any further negotiations with the union for the foreseeable future.”

Of course, like any company that is only looking to make money and couldn’t really care about the well-being of their employees, Frito-Lay has said that they are going to be looking to hire new employees to work for the duration of the strike. They have also gone so far as to cut off health insurance from the employees currently striking.

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