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JBS-Swift Workers in Utah Ratify First Union Contract

Hyrum, Utah – Workers at the JBS-Swift plant in Hyrum, Utah, last evening voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first-ever union contract. The more than 1,100 workers of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 711 at the JBS-Swift Beef Plant (known locally as the E.A. Miller Plant) will join the more than 10,000 JBS-Swift workers nationwide who belong to the UFCW.

The new three-year contract includes:

  • regular wage increases, with many plant workers receiving a 4.6 percent or greater increase at ratification and a dollar an hour increase over the life of the contract;
  • weekly hour guarantees that protect full-time, family supporting jobs in the community;
  • affordable family health coverage, with no increase in medical premiums;
  • job advancement opportunities;
  • workers no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for their work equipment, tools and work clothes;
  • a formal system to resolve workplace issues;
  • improved vacation benefits;
  • the creation of an educational trust fund, which can be used to promote a range of initiatives, including citizenship workshops;
  • a Joint Worker-Management Safety Committee and improved safety training for workers;
  • improved funeral pay.

“Now that we have a contract, we have a real voice,” said Robert Young, who has worked at the plant for two years and also serves as an ordained minister. “That means better benefits, active stewards, leadership in the plant and a better a way to deal with problems before they become big issues.”

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The UFCW represents 1.3 million workers, 250,000 in the meatpacking and poultry industries. UFCW members also work in the health care, garment, chemical, distillery and retail industries.

JBS-SWIFT WORKERS IN UTAH RATIFY FIRST UNION CONTRACT

Hyrum, Utah Workers at the JBS-Swift plant in Hyrum, Utah, last evening voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first-ever union contract. The more than 1,100 workers of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 711 at the JBS-Swift Beef Plant (known locally as the E.A. Miller Plant) will join the more than 10,000 JBS-Swift workers nationwide who belong to the UFCW.

The new three-year contract includes:

  • regular wage increases, with many plant workers receiving a 4.6 percent or greater increase at ratification and a dollar an hour increase over the life of the contract;
  • weekly hour guarantees that protect full-time, family supporting jobs in the community;
  • affordable family health coverage, with no increase in medical premiums;
  • job advancement opportunities;
  • workers no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for their work equipment, tools and work clothes;
  • a formal system to resolve workplace issues;
  • improved vacation benefits;
  • the creation of an educational trust fund, which can be used to promote a range of initiatives, including citizenship workshops;
  • a Joint Worker-Management Safety Committee and improved safety training for workers;
  • improved funeral pay.

“Now that we have a contract, we have a real voice,” said Robert Young, who has worked at the plant for two years and also serves as an ordained minister. “That means better benefits, active stewards, leadership in the plant and a better a way to deal with problems before they become big issues.”

HYRUM JBS/SWIFT WORKERS STAND UP FOR VOICE ON THE JOB

Hyrum, Utah – More than 1,100 workers gained union representation with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 711 yesterday at the JBS/Swift beef plant (known locally as the E. A. Miller plant) in Hyrum, Utah, after voting overwhelmingly for a voice on the job.

“We stood together for a better future for our families,” said Isaias Lopez, a 22-year veteran of the plant. “That was the first step. Now, we can work on a first contract that brings greater opportunity to our workplace.”

The Hyrum plant has been in operation for over seventy years and became part of the JBS family with their acquisition of Swift meatpacking almost two years ago. It had been the only JBS/Swift plant in the United States that did not have union representation.

“This victory means we’ll have a voice at work,” said plant worker Adalberto Soto. We voted ‘UFCW Yes.’ It was an easy decision, and it was the right decision for our families and our future.”

“When we sit down with management to negotiate that first contract,” continued Soto, “We won’t sit down alone. We’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ten thousand brothers and sisters at all the JBS/Swift plants across the country, and with all workers in the packing and processing industry. The more workers who unite in our industry—the   more powerful we are to make better lives for our families.”

Yesterday’s result of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election was a culmination of a worker-led campaign designed to give these men and women a stronger voice on the job and more opportunity for their families.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Hyrum workers,” said Max Aldama, a member of UFCW Local 1149 and an employee at JBS/Swift’s Marshalltown, Iowa plant who assisted workers in organizing their Hyrum plant. “JBS/Swift has always been willing to work honestly and openly with us in Marshalltown, and I know they’ll live up to the high standards they have always set and kept for themselves.”