December 11, 2008
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.
October 29, 2008
The parties have reached a settlement of the lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division. The essential elements of the settlement are as follows:
1. Smithfield and the UFCW have agreed on what both parties believe to be a fair election process by which the employees at Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant can choose whether or not to be represented by the UFCW.
2. Smithfield and the UFCW have agreed to establish a Feed the Hungry Program to be jointly funded and administered by the UFCW and Smithfield.
3. The UFCW agrees to end its public campaign against Smithfield.
4. The parties have agreed there shall be no further public statement about this settlement until the election referenced in paragraph one above has been concluded.