Packing and Processing



(Denison, Iowa) – More than 125 workers at the Farmland Food meatpacking plant in Carroll, Iowa, voted yesterday for a voice on the job with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 440.

Yesterday’s vote adds the Farmland workers in Carroll to the Farmland Denison workers already represented by UFCW Local 440.

“”Im proud that my coworkers stood together to get a long-awaited voice on the job here in Carroll,”” said Gary Schaefer, a mechanic in the plant. “”We won our union voice by using worksite solidarity among workers from all parts of the world. Our cross-cultural unity was key to bringing everyone together.””

Saul Trevino, a receiving dock employee, said, “”Together, we talked to each other about organizing and how together wed be able to advocate for better working conditions for everyone in the plant. Im glad were now UFCW Local 440 just like the Farmland workers in Denison.””

UFCW Local 440 represents 1200 workers in western Iowa in the meatpacking and food processing industry.

JBS Workers in Michigan Vote Overwhelmingly to Join the UFCW

On October 19, 1000 an overwhelming majority of workers at the JBS slaughterhouse and production facility in Plainwell, Mich., voted to join UFCW Local 951. Workers said they wanted a union voice on the job in order to address unjust terminations, unsafe working conditions, and an unfair compensation system where new employees were earning more than workers with more than 15 years of service to the company.

“This win feels great,” said Troy Schlotterback, a JBS employee and a part of the organizing committee. “I come from a union family and I have worked in a union plant in the past. I have seen, first hand, what a union can do for the middle class.”

“I am surprised and happy by the win,” said Li Lin Thang, who has worked for JBS for three years. The bad working conditions and discrimination will finally be gone, I feel free now.”

JBS is the world’s largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than US$30 billion in annual sales as of 2010. JBS acquired this Packerland plant in 2008. During the workers’ campaign, JBS allowed a free and fair process for workers to decide whether they wanted union representation. The campaign was similar to previous JBS campaigns in Hyrum, Utah and Souderton, Penn.

Workers at the West Michigan plant will join with 28,000 other JBS workers who already enjoy the benefits of UFCW union representation on the job.

Japanese grocery chain to resume U.S. beef sales

By Richard Smith on 9/29/2011

TOKYO — The Inageya grocery store chain will resume U.S. beef sales Oct. 10 on a trial basis, a company official told Meatingplace.

An as-yet-undetermined number of Inageya’s 127 outlets will sell chuck rib, chuck eye roll and strip loin for yakiniku (Korean-style barbecued beef), company meat department general manager Tokio Iso said.

Amount of volumes to be purchased have also not been decided yet, Iso said. “We will see how well sales go so we can determine how we will proceed in handling U.S. beef in the future,” he said.

Since a December 2003 ban on U.S. beef because of BSE, Inageya has not handled the meat despite its import resumption in August 2006. The only beef imports the chain presently offers are from Canada and Australia.

Based in Tokyo Prefecture, the company also has outlets in the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.

U.S. Meat Export Federation Japan’s senior director for trade projects and trade services told Meatingplace his office will support the promotion with special stickers for meat trays and materials for shelf decoration.

“We are delighted to see the resumption of sales of U.S. beef products by a leading regional chain that used to be an active user of our products,” Susumu Harada said.