>Smithfield Workers Win a Voice with UFCW

>Tar Heel, N.C. – Workers at Smithfield Packing in Tar Heel, North Carolina, chose union representation with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Workers voted 2041 to 1879 for a voice on the job.

“When workers have a fair process, they choose a voice on the job,” said UFCW Director of Organizing Pat O’Neill. “This is a great victory for the Tar Heel workers. I know they are looking forward to sitting down at the bargaining table with Smithfield to negotiate a contract. The UFCW has constructive union contracts with Smithfield plants around the country. Those union contracts benefit workers, the company and the community. We believe the workers here in Tar Heel can achieve a similar agreement.”

Ronnie Ann Simmons, a veteran of 13 years at the plant said, “We are thrilled. This moment has been a long time coming. We stuck together, and now we have a say on the job.”

Workers at 26 Smithfield-owned facilities around the country already have UFCW representation.

CLICK HERE for photos of Smithfield workers.

>Power Changing Hands

>The Employee Free Choice Act sounds like a pretty good solution to a lot of the problems workers face when they’re trying to form a union. So why is there so much controversy around it? Basically, the same businesses, agencies, and people who oppose EFCA, oppose unions in general. This fact alone makes it easy to see that EFCA is just another means to empower workers, and so it threatens the people who hold the power under the current system.

A few examples of who opposes EFCA

– Wal-Mart: Held meetings to try to convince their managers not to vote for Democrats, because they would pass EFCA and empower Wal-Mart workers to finally be able to form a union.

– George Bush & Dick Cheney: Never a friend of working people, Bush promised to veto EFCA if it crossed his desk.

-The Employee Freedom Action Committee: Many of the commercials on TV against EFCA are funded by this group, which was created by a lobbyist specifically to oppose EFCA. The Lobbyist, Richard Berman even admitted “All of my clients are corporations,” so we’re pretty sure he doesn’t have workers’ best interests at heart. Berman runs other organizations such as the Center for Consumer Freedom which criticizes Mothers against Drunk Driving, and the Employment Policies Institute which opposes raising the minimum wage.

– US Chamber of Commerce: The voice of business owners in America.