CHICAGO, March 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 2, 2016, in response to Mondelēz International/Nabisco actions at the Nabisco Bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Avenue, Cook County passed a resolution "calling on Nabisco and its parent company Mondelēz International to continue its relationship with the south side of Chicago." Cook County has over 5 million residents, comprising 40% of Illinois's population and includes 135 municipalities, including the City of Chicago. The resolution further states that, "any business that abandons its commitment to its local community by moving production to low-wage countries will be seen as abandoning its relationship with Cook County," and "strongly encourages Nabisco Biscuit Company/Mondelēz International to engage in discussions to find ways to maintain its relationship with the immediate community whilst also maintaining jobs within the County."
The resolution was introduced by 7th District County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, the first elected Mexican American to the Illinois State Senate and a longtime supporter of workers' rights and working families. "I'm proud, and happy that the resolution passed unanimously and in a bipartisan manner to try to keep this major employer in Chicago's Southwest Side," stated Commissioner Garcia. "I hope that conversations between Mondelēz International/Nabisco and the affected workers pick back up and that it brings a steadfast and amicable resolve that will benefit the hundreds of families in region."
In 1993, the National Biscuit Company cited necessary plant updates as a reason for a proposed outsourcing of their plant, at which time local authorities responded and provided support for the stated plant expansion. Since that time, the company has received tax incentives upwards of $90 million; which included:
- The establishment by the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development of a tax increment financing (TIF) district to accommodate the plant expansion, resulting in $35 million in tax savings; and
- The extension of an enterprise zone by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs in the state of Illinois to accommodate the company in order to receive $29 million in tax savings.
- In July 2015, Mondelēz International/Nabisco again announced a plan to outsource jobs to Mexico instead of investing in its iconic Nabisco bakery in Chicago, which would result in 600 job losses.
"We are extremely grateful for the work of the entire County Commission, in particular the efforts of Commissioner Garcia in defense of Nabisco employees and quality manufacturing jobs in Cook County," stated BCTGM International President David B. Durkee. "We appreciate the support of the entire community to rally around these workers and their families – but there is much work left to be done. We have only begun to address the indiscretions of Mondelēz/Nabisco and its callous disregard for working families here and across the globe. This fight is growing and our efforts will continue; we will not cease until there is a meaningful and fair resolution to these issues."
Next week, Alderman Derrick Curtis of Chicago's 18th Ward – where the Nabisco plant resides – will present a similar resolution to the Chicago City Council for adoption.
For more information about announced job losses in Chicago, please watch The Nabisco-Mondelēz 600.
Ron Baker, BCTGM Strategic Campaign Coordinator
Jennifer Sanders, Perry Street Communications