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Texas Cargill Workers Vote Union “Yes”

Cargills-300x225Cargill workers in Fort Worth, Texas, voted to join UFCW Local 540. There are more than 200 workers at the ground beef processing plant where they produce hamburger patties and sausage.  Workers decided to come together for a union voice for several reasons. Workers claim that many of their peers have been unjustly fired. And, they say verbal abuse and disrespect on the job are common. When the company threatened to cut wages, workers went into action to fight back.

With a union voice and a union contract through UFCW Local 540, workers say they are looking forward to dignity and respect on the job, good wages, and affordable benefits.

UFCW Local 1776 Workers at JBS Ratify New Contract

JBS-1776-300x225This week, JBS workers in Souderton, Pa., overwhelmingly voted to accept a new five-year contract. The contract covers more than 1,100 workers.

Negotiations for a new agreement began last December. UFCW Local 1776 members bargained in solidarity for affordable health care and fair wage increases.  Many members participated in various chain activities leading up to ratifying the new contract.

“This year we have more people active and involved and taking part in the process.  We worked together to be effective and to work to satisfy all workers,” said Michelet Felix, UFCW Local 1776 JBS worker.

The five year agreement, which will expire in August 2019, includes affordable health care for employees and their families and significant wage increases for the full term of the agreement along with additional bonuses in the first year.  The agreement includes workers in two different units, the JBS slaughter and processing beef plant and the nearby JBS rendering facility.

Wendell W. Young, IV, President of UFCW Local 1776, said that the vote “can be accredited to the solidarity between UFCW members.”

Young continued: “There is no doubt that the strength and solidarity amongst the workers played a tremendous role in securing this contract. That solidarity stretched from JBS workers in other UFCW plants here in the United States to the global solidarity shown by union JBS workers in Brazil.  JBS workers recognize the value both chain and global unity has in achieving what they deserve.”

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Final USDA Poultry Modernization Rule

UFCWnewsWASHINGTON, D.C. Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement after the USDA published a final poultry modernization rule. 
“For more than two years, UFCW members have spoken out with a simple and compelling message: safe line speeds mean safe workers.
“With today’s publication of an improved poultry modernization rule, it is clear that the voices of UFCW members were heard loud and clear.
“I want to thank our coalition partners in labor, food safety, and the civil rights community for standing side by side with us throughout this process. I want to recognize the Department of Labor for raising important safety questions.  And I especially want to commend Secretary Vilsack for listening to our concerns and taking the necessary steps to fix this rule.
“Poultry processing remains a dangerous job; a recent study showed 42 percent of workers in this industry have evidence of carpal tunnel. With this rule behind us, I look forward to working with the Department of Labor and the USDA to make our poultry plants safer and ensure more workers can have a voice on the job.”
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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org, or join our online community at www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw.