In the face of outrageous working conditions, Workers at Hershey’s chocolate plants, are in the process of holding a union election with ballots to be counted March 24.
The workers, who make chocolate bars, Reese Peanut Butter Cups and other candy products, in interviews have described being forced to work overtime, in some cases working consecutive days for weeks or even a month or two at a time without a break, and being confronted with intimidation tactics from management for expressing pro-union sentiments. They also want an end to the two-tier compensation system under which workers hired after 2008 earn $2 to $3-an-hour less than those hired after that date and have no pension plan.
Under laws and rules governing labor relations, any kind of surveillance, intimidation, or the possibility of retribution, or even a hint of it, is illegal. Yet, Hershey’s workers report being confronted by management representatives for their postings on the union’s Facebook page and being spied on for union activities.
Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck reportedly made $i9 million in 2020, about 630 times the median pay of all other company employees. Its stock value has soared throughout the pandemic.