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Readers Respond to the Nabisco Strike, and How Portland Police Handled It

“Should defund them and Oreos can pay their salary and pension.”

A Nabisco strike that began when union bakers walked out of the Oreo and Ritz factory along Northeast Columbia Boulevard on Aug. 10 escalated sharply in recent weeks—before being resolved by a national union vote over the weekend. For much of August, strikers stood along railroad tracks to block trains carrying flour and sugar to the bakery. Last week, Mondelez International, which owns the Nabisco factory, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the bakers’ union threatening legal action over the blockade, while its hired security guards muscled strikers away from company property. Mondelez also called the police on union members—and the cops’ quick response is what drew the most commentary from our readers. Here’s what they had to say.

Eddie McMuffin, via Facebook: “Wow, PPD showed up? And in 12 minutes? Shit, took two hours to respond to someone yelling and threatening us at home in the middle of the night. Should defund them and Oreos can pay their salary and pension.”

Captain Hamburger, via wweek.com: “Homeless car thieves can openly strip stolen cars and I’ve seen police drive right on by. The massive camp off Marine Drive and Northeast 33rd is a prime example. I drove down 33rd a few weeks ago and a homeless guy was cutting a stolen car into chunks with a Sawzall. A Portland police car drove by with the officer looking right at the dude and he just kept on driving.”

Duke Shepard, via Facebook: “All that city/police refuse to attend to—radical vs. nut job street fight in Parkrose, crime in neighborhoods—but they’re on top of protesting union workers inside 12 minutes. JFC, I’m so sick of this place. Priorities?!”

Don Iler, via Twitter: “Yet further proof that cop unions aren’t real unions and cops aren’t the allies of labor.”

Patty Langasek, via Facebook: “At some point, isn’t it in Mondelez’s best interests to not reduce health insurance, not force overtime, and actually PAY overtime wages? I mean, they have been making bank through the pandemic while their workers are put at risk. Why are they being so awful to those same workers?”

Steverino, via wweek.com: “If you choose to work at a job that society thinks isn’t worth that much, what would you expect? If these workers at Mondelez get out of public school with a bare minimum of tools and don’t want to improve themselves by acquiring marketable skills, guess what happens? Go ahead, tax/legislate corporations out of the existence and enjoy life in Venezuela North.”

Just Doing the Math, via wweek.com: “I actually feel sorry for the strikers. They are going to lose this battle. People are way too addicted to the junk, fakey and obesity-generating food produced in this country. What harm is the potential move of manufacturing jobs to Mexico so that people can continue stuffing their faces with this crap? Mondelez is keenly aware of this sad fact and has the upper hand.”

Yohocoma, via wweek.com: “The neo-Pinkerton tools are likely getting paid not much more than the strikers, and of course they’re working against their own interests for short-term gain. The corporate oligarchy isn’t doing any of them any favors. Such is the pathos of our society.”

Jon Cohen, via Facebook: “It’s tradition: Workers strike for better conditions, and the Big Bosses get violent.”

Mt. Hood, via wweek.com: “When asked to comment, Mayor Wheeler said he hoped ‘that the two sides would choose love.’ Later, caught on a hot mic, the mayor was overheard saying, ‘I guess we’re bringing Newman-O’s to the next City Council meeting...? I love those things.’”

Phil Cook, via wweek.com: “We used to live by the Nabisco plant in North Portland. The smell was amazing. Our mechanic worked there and he said that there is absolutely nothing better than a warm Oreo.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: PO Box 10770, Portland OR 97296. Email: mzusman@wweek.com.