A warm atmosphere contrasted the cold weather as demonstrators gathered to chant, cheer, and shout in defiance of Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snack companies, Sunday evening.
At times it was difficult to hear the organizers speaking over the sounds of the crowd cheering and passing cars beeping on the corner of 73rd and Kedzie Ave., where a candlelight vigil was held directly across the street from the Nabisco factory, which is owned by Mondelez International.
Last year, Mondelez told employees that the company would be relocating much of the production work to Salinas, Mexico.
So far 227 employees have received layoff notices as a result of the company closing nine of the bakery’s sixteen production lines. Additionally, Mondelez is contemplating the opening of four new lines in Mexico, which would result in a total loss of 600 jobs in Chicago.
Barbara Cimbalista, an employee of Mondelez International, says she was told by management that if they want to keep their jobs, they need to be able to compete with Mexico.
“I said, ‘how do you expect us to compete with Mexico when they get $3 an hour, and we get $25 an hour,'” asked Cimbalista. “They said cut wages and benefits. I said ‘no, I don’t think so.'”