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National Hog Farmer

Smithfield Foods Union Ok's Strike

98% of the UFCW members supported the job action

Posted on
Jun 10, 2021

A Smithfield Foods plant in South Dakota that was the epicenter of an outbreak last year has voted to go on strike. Read more below from the AP.

The union at a Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota engaged in contract negotiations Tuesday armed with the authorization to call a strike.

A strike authorization at the Sioux Falls chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union was overwhelmingly approved late Monday with 98% of the vote total, the union said. However, union leaders said they hope to avoid a work stoppage as they met with company representatives Tuesday.

“We’re not going to change our stand,” said B.J. Motley, the president of the local union.

Smithfield Foods, which is based in Virginia, has said its initial offer, which was rejected by the union last week, is in “full alignment” with agreements that UFCW has already accepted at other plants.

Smithfield, like other large meatpacking companies, spent millions of dollars to incentivize workers and outfit plants with plexiglass safety barriers. It has pointed out that after the plant reopened, large outbreaks were avoided.

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