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August 31, 2004

New UFCW Contract Raises Living Standards for Dakota City Workers

(Dakota City, NE) – Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 222 turned out today to vote their approval for the agreement covering 3,000 workers at the Tyson Dakota City plant.

The new UFCW contract brings an immediate 60 cent increase in the base wage for production and slaughter employees, with a $1.55 increase over the term of the contract, making the pay among the best in the beef industry.   Maintenance workers will also receive substantial pay increases.

Highlights of the new agreement include:

  • Guaranteed wage increases totaling $1.55;
  • Establishes standard of a minimum 36 hours a week;
  • An additional week of vacation;
  • Improved health benefits, including adding vision, long-term disability, retiree coverage and a supplemental Medicare plan;
  • Increased retirement savings through additional employer 401(k) contributions and added stock options for employees.
  • Maintained overtime pay rates;
  • Increased funding for multi‑cultural fund that provides resources for programs such as safety training in Spanish and English-as-a-Second Language classes; and
  • Provides a clear attendance record for all employees (no disciplinary action based on past absences.)

“The solidarity and determination of UFCW members gave us the strength at the bargaining table to win a groundbreaking contract that will improve the living standards for thousands of Dakota City families.  The entire community will benefit as workers have more money to spend in our local economy,” said Marv Harrington, President of UFCW Local 222.  “Solidarity works and solidarity wins for everyone.”