Sunday, January 19, 2014

About To Change

I am not racist but this picture tells a story that migjht not be discussed openly in the media.. Appealing to the poor black community surrounding the plant is at best hypocritical. I remember how some of the workers walked around  with their noses in the air back in the day. The only thing the Kellogg plant has brought to Castalia is smoke and the smell of corn flakes. Two hundred twenty-three jobs are in question now. But at its peak the plant probably employed 500 to 600 people at the most. As one  who  was never fortunate enough to be included in that number  Now that the city council has gotten involved. I can see why some.residents are crying foul.

The plant has been in South Memphis on Frisco Ave. for the last sixty years. Union plants that have been around since the fifties are closing every year. It's easy for me to say because it doesn't affect me personally.But I'm not surprised that this is happening.  It started with Cleo Wrap then it was Wonder Bread now it's Kellogg. The only thing left is USPS and they're cutting back. With Cleo Wrap it was mostly black women who were getting some  type of supplemental income anyway. But the job paid $ 13 hr.and plenty of overtime at time and a half. Before it closed some of the men were working almost around the clock. They were making a killing. But Wonder was a little different. It was mostly black men with families. The job  was a hustlers dream. Don't have a woman making good money too. The  average pay at Wonder  was $17 hr. So half of the workers made more than  that. You had guys making over $20 hr. watching a machine wrap cupcakes. But the union wanted more.

The glory days are over. Companies like  Firestone, International Harvester and the packing houses are gone. No  more earning  $1200 a wk..and you can't sign your paycheck. Kellogg is the last hourly job in Memphis like that. That we know about anyway. I just found out about a Ford parts distributor warehouse in Memphis in  recent  years that paid  $45hr. plus had excellent benefits. They've since moved to somewhere away from Memphis I can't remember. Just that there wouldn't be many blacks there other than his wife and their interracial children. He was young and white and he followed the company.What if you're old,black and can't leave? Hold on because things are about to change.


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