At the beginning of the year, cereal maker Kellogg began the process of closing dozens of distribution centers and laying off as many as 11,000 workers. Now the Michigan-based company faces a lawsuit filed by contractors who say Kellogg did them wrong with the abrupt shift in its supply chain system.
Supply and shipping industry journal SupplyChainDive.com reported that a group of sub-contractors, who bid for and won work as drivers and distributors, are filing a class action lawsuit over Kellogg’s new business plan, dubbed “Special K.” The lawsuit will charge the breakfast food giant with a breach of contract, wrongful termination of contracts, and lack of fair dealing, an attorney’s letter said.
Those joining the case told the industry journal that they wanted to remain anonymous for now as they marshal their forces for the lawsuit being launched by attorney Abe George of New York City.
“For Kellogg to now wave a wand to completely divest my clients of their routes without any consideration is a wanton breach of my clients’ rights,” the attorney told the website. “Clearly, Kellogg is simply enriching itself to increase its bottom line while getting leaner and meaner.”
Breitbart News is also in receipt of emails from one distributor who said he is joining the suit. In the emails, the sub-distributor, who similarly did not want his name publicized, accused Kellogg of “stealing routes from hard working people who invested money buying them.”
Two sub-contractors, one going by the name John and another by David, told the industry news website that the shift in distribution policies is “devastating” to their lives.
“They told the distributors that they got assurances from Kellogg and that we are safe and that they wouldn’t touch us at all and that we are the most profitable part of their business,” John said. “When I found out [I was losing my job] I was quite devastated because I am now turning 60 years old, so my retirement is gone.”
“I’m not crazy about Kellogg’s anymore. Corporate greed won out over people,” John added.
Kellogg’s has already laid off thousands of workers over the last two months. To name a few, almost 500 were fired in North Carolina, nearly 300 were fired in facilities in New York, and another 219 lost their jobs in Minnesota. Still another 500 were laid off in Pennsylvania.
The cereal giant’s troubles also come on the heels of the company’s decision to pull its advertising from Breitbart News. As it pulled advertising from the popular news site last November, company spokesperson Kris Charles said Breitbart News and its 45 million readers “aren’t aligned with” the cereal maker’s “values as a company.”
The move prompted Breitbart News to launch its #DumpKelloggs petition, which has been signed by more than 431,000 people.
It was also reported that Kellogg’s politically-motivated nonprofit has close ties to radical anti-American billionaire George Soros, hate group Black Lives Matter, and deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
The left-wing campaign to coerce companies to pull their ads from Breitbart News has had “little to no impact” on the organization, Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said in a November statement. But it does show a large amount of contempt for customers who lean to the center-right in the American political spectrum.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.