Image of Kellogg’s worker picketing in 3am storm goes viral amid ‘second industrial revolution’

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Jason Schultz said he stayed on the picket lines during the storm ‘to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving’ (Erin Shaffer)
Jason Schultz said he stayed on the picket lines during the storm ‘to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving’ (Erin Shaffer)

A grainy cellphone photograph of a lone Kellogg’s factory worker defiantly holding a picket sign in a rainstorm has gone viral.

The picture was posted to the Kellogg Union Members Appreciation Page, and shows Jason Schultz standing in a hooded jacket, with the smoke from several recently-extinguished grills smouldering in the background.

“Middle of the night – torrential downpour – fire is drowned out – BUT Local 50g stands strong and our picket sign is higher now than ever before,” the post read, referring to the Omaha chapter of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) union.

Mr Schultz is one of 1400 workers at the cereal company who are striking for better pay and conditions across Michigan, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Omaha and Memphis.

He told Vice he had stayed on the picket line “to make sure everyone knows we’re not leaving”.

“Many will see one person (in the photo). To me, that is over 1,400 brothers and sisters standing as one. We are prepared to stay out one day longer than the company if that’s what it takes.”

The photograph has been shared thousands of times across Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, where it drew praise for being “worth a thousand words”.

The image was taken by Kellogg’s worker Erin Shaffer, who had gone to take cover from the rain in her car.

She told Newsweek she was struck by Mr Schultz’s resolve to stay on the picket lines during the storm.

“I thought it showed such dedication for him to be out there in a torrential downpour,” Ms Shaffer, who has been working at Kellogg’s since June, said.

“He was walking up and down the sidewalk with great purpose. I thought he was amazing for being out there.”

The President of the Omaha chapter of the BCTGM union, Dan Osborn, told The Independent he had been blown away by the support the striking workers had received.

“It’s a cocktail of emotions. It’s been humbling to see the outpouring of support not just from the local community but people nationwide. People have been donating not just money but food water diapers.

Kellogg’s staff have been on strike for two weeks after negotations between management and the union broke down (VIA REUTERS)
Kellogg’s staff have been on strike for two weeks after negotations between management and the union broke down (VIA REUTERS)

“There’s definitely a movement sweeping the nation, I call it the second industrial resolution.”

A group of 17 Nebraska state senators wrote to Kellogg’s CEO Steven Cahillane to declare their “unwavering solidarity” with the striking workers.

The strike has seen production of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals including Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes grind to a halt.

Kellogg’s staff went on strike earlier this month after a year-long negotiation between union and management broke down.

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